Folk Lament

We explore literature through contexts and by connecting the pieces. In her essay “The Voices of Grief,” Oksana Husieva shows how Akhmatova drew on the tradition of the widow’s lament for her Requiem. Check out Oksana’s description of Irina Fedosova, a famous 19th century “lamenter.” I’d love to learn more about Oksana’s research process for this paper.

Metropolitan Greetings (and welcome to all)

One thing I’m noticing about this year’s Midwest Slavic Conference is just how many participants we have from all over the US and all over the world. The quality of papers and presentations is really high, and I hope everyone is getting a chance to look over the individual papers and read/listen to some in preparation for tomorrow afternoon’s Zoom discussion sessions. I’m also seeing a lot of resonance with other virtual conferences I’ve attended this year: for example, Michael Breger’s discussion of Allen Ginsberg “behind the Iron Curtain” reminds me of Fred White’s paper on Hemingway in Russia at the multinational “Literary Classics and Intellectual Autonomy in the Soviet World” conference that took place on March 26 and April 2.

Metamodernism — moving toward the proverbial “happy end”?

Super interesting presentation about Metamodernism in Ukraine. “Modern enthusiasm and postmodern irony” — metamodernism seems to be located somewhere on this spectrum. It is certainly true that in our day many readers have lost patience with “incredulity toward meta-narratives,” in Lyotard’s formulation of postmodernism. Tetiana Grebeniuk suggests that metamodern art and literature want to “help us learn to live happily again” — which resonates with what Yvonne Howell will tell us this evening at the keynote. It will be interesting to compare Alex Dubas’s project with those of the Ukrainian novelists Tetiana writes about (Andrij Bondar, Oksana Zabuzhko, Serhiy Zhadan).