In the footsteps of the past. Contemporary Russian prison camp memoirs in the context of the tradition of Gulag memoir writing

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In the footsteps of the past. Contemporary Russian prison camp memoirs in the context of the tradition of Gulag memoir writing

Type: Master thesis
Title: In the footsteps of the past. Contemporary Russian prison camp memoirs in the context of the tradition of Gulag memoir writing
Author: Mortel, Lisanne Marijn van de
Issue Date: 2019-08-30
Keywords: Contemporary prison camp memoirs
Gulag memoirs
Maria Alyokhina
Ildar Dadin
Penal colonies
Abstract: This thesis investigates the reappearance of the Russian prison camp memoir. It investigates how these contemporary prison camp memoirs are connected to prison camp writing from the past. I used the contemporary prison camp memoirs of Maria Alyokhina (2017) and Ildar Dadin (2018). Both were political prisoners, convicted in politically motivated trials, and served sentenced in the modern day system of Russian penal colonies. Their memoirs are a product of the growing repression that takes place under president Vladimir Putin. Russia has a long tradition of prison camp writing. The contemporary prison camp memoirs recall this past, and are therefore looked at in the context of this tradition, especially that of Gulag memoir writing. The thesis first looks at the most important aspects of the narratives of the contemporary memoirs, which they share with Gulag memoirs (retrospect, testimonial function and a bi-functionality). Secondly it investigates the structure of the narratives, and how these share the four morphological features of Gulag memoirs as formulated by Leona Toker, who analyzed the corpus of Gulag memoirs. Thirdly, it explores how the authors of the contemporary prison camp memoirs inscribe their memoirs in the tradition of Russian prison camp writing, and how they deploy the past in their narratives about the present.
Supervisor: Boele, Otto
Faculty: Faculty of Humanities
Department: Russian end Eurasian Studies
ECTS Credits: 20
Handle: http://hdl.handle.net/1887/78528
 

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