Cover Osteuropa 8-10/2016

In Osteuropa 8-10/2016

Communist and personal happiness
An investigation into Platonov’s The Foundation Pit

Robert Hodel

Deutsche Fassung


Platonov’s The Foundation Pit is a polyphonic and ambiguous work. A central theme in the novel is the issue of happiness. For many figures in the work, it is an ultimate value, which is placed higher than justice or freedom. They believe in a communist society in which happiness is realised. And yet, does the Foundation Pit not also illustrate the brutal failure of this utopia? Does it not point to a metaphysical world which promises more happiness than the real-life, proletarian one? Or does it establish, in the midst of the hopelessness, a Christian ethic without metaphysics, a sensitivity with humanistic origins?

(Osteuropa 8-10/2016, pp. 319–336)