Cover Osteuropa 8-9/2011

In Osteuropa 8-9/2011

“They Shared Cursing and Died Sharing”
The Pathos of Truth in Russian Blockade Literature

Ulrich Schmid

Deutsche Fassung


The Leningrad Blockade – similar to the Holocaust – stands under an unspoken prohibition on fictionalisation. For each, there applies a imperative that is very effective: anybody who writes about these traumatic events shall bear witness and not shape in a literary fashion. Repeatedly, authors stress that they are writing the “truth” about the blockade. However, even they follow a normative discourse with established formulae for pathos. An alternative, critical means of writing was only possible in private documents destined for a close circle of recipients. Only most recently have writers of the postwar generation deheroicised the blockade.

(Osteuropa 8-9/2011, pp. 265–280)