Cover Osteuropa 7/2014

In Osteuropa 7/2014

The Future of the Past
The “New Middle Ages” in the Russian Contemporary Novel

Karlheinz Kasper

Deutsche Fassung


Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, fantasy novels have boomed in Russia. They depict a medieval world that stands out in positive contrast with the present, which is seen as dismal and unstable. Now, in two works reminiscent of Nikolai Berdiaev, Evgenii Vodolazkin and Vladimir Sorokin, two renowned authors in the field of serious narrative prose, abscond with the reader into a dazzling world located in a fictional Middle Ages. The fictional world of the past serves as the mirror for a literary analysis of the political-ideological conflicts of the present.

(Osteuropa 7/2014, pp. 121–159)