Cover Osteuropa 9-11/2019

In Osteuropa 9-11/2019

Family stories as counter-stories
Jewish identity and contemporary Russian literature

Anja Tippner

Deutsche Fassung


Russian literature is currently experiencing a comeback of the family novel. In this genre, questions surrounding Jewish identity are also discussed. Particularly good examples are Ludmila Ulitskaya’s Jacob’s Ladder, Maria Stepanova’s Post-Memory and Elena Chizhova’s A City, written from Memory. The authors consider the relationship between family memory and the official culture of memory and show how Jewish self-identity in Russia is now unfold-ing in the field of tension between family origins, anti-Semitism and the culture of remembrance. It is precisely in the ambivalences, breaks and gaps in their autofictional texts that there lies a realistic core. They refer to the irreparable injuries of the past and the decline of Jewish culture in the present.

(Osteuropa 9-11/2019, pp. 203–222)