Cover Osteuropa 6/2007

In Osteuropa 6/2007

The Fall of Idols – The End of Humanism?
Literary Models during the Thaw: Solzhenitsyn und Shalamov

Klaus Städtke

Deutsche Fassung


Shalamov’s protest against capitulating to totalitarian violence had its predecessors. At the start of the 20th century, the intelligentsia debated “ethical nihilism.” Stalinism interrupted this debate, which Solzhenitsyn and Shalamov picked up again. Solzhenitsyn calls for a return to the old moral order, Shalamov discovers in the Gulag the devastating reverse side of human nature. While Solzhenitsyn embeds the camp in Russian history, Shalamov refrains from trying to explain the world and issuing programmatic designs.

(Osteuropa 6/2007, pp. 137–168)