Cover Osteuropa 1-2/2018

In Osteuropa 1-2/2018

Between the stools
Document and fiction in Svetlana Alexievich’s work

Tine Roesen

Deutsche Fassung


Svetlana Alexievich is an unusual Nobel Prize laureate. She does not fulfil many of the criteria implicitly specified by the Swedish Academy. Her works are also difficult to classify. It is indisputably eyewitness literature, while at the same time being a specific form of this genre. Her handling of the documents on which she bases her works has been the subject of criticism. However, this fails to acknowledge the fact that hers are works of literature. The truth that she produces is different to that of the historian. And yet there is no doubting the authenticity of the interviews which form the basis for Alexievich’s books.

(Osteuropa 1-2/2018, pp. 99–108)