William H. Thornton undertakes in his article, "A Postmodern Solzhenitsyn?," to bring Solzhenitsyn in from the cold, critically speaking, by closing the gap between him and his many postmodern detractors. That gap has been premised on the rough equivalence of poststructuralism and postmodernism. The postmodern realism advanced in this study challenges not only Solzhenitsyn's critics but his own stated aversion to postmodernism. Operating on both a microhistorical and macrohistorical plane, Solzhenitsyn's literary historiography testifies to the awesome scope of the gulag while never losing sight of its human factor.The double vision of Solzhenitsyn's proto-postmodern referentiality, a simultaneous centering and decentering, is matched by his determination to keep the past as a creative force within the present and future. Here poststructural, anti-realist post-modernism becomes his adversary; for just as it attempts to comprehend the local in pristine isolation, never connecting the dots, so too it isolates the past. Solzhenitsyn accuses (anti-realist) postmodernism of recycling many of the same avant-garde tools of forgetfulness that were used ever so effectively early in the twentieth century to dismantle existing cultural values, and indeed the very category of the cultural as a setting for local meaning.
Thornton, William H..
"A Postmodern Solzhenitsyn?."
CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture
This text has been double-blind peer reviewed by 2+1 experts in the field.
The above text, published by Purdue University Press ©Purdue University, has been downloaded 940 times as of 03/26/15. Note: the download counts of the journal's material are since Issue 9.1 (March 2007), since the journal's format in pdf (instead of in html 1999-2007).
CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture is published by Purdue University Press ©Purdue University in open access. Please support the journal: Click here for more information and to make your donation online.