The Poet’s Forced Choice: Boris Khersonskii’s Post-2014 Poetry between Russian and Ukrainian

Öffentlicher Abendvortrag

Having become famous thanks to publications in Russian publishing houses in the 1990s and 2000s, after 2014 the Russophone Odessite poet Boris Grigor’evich Khersonskii faced allegations for his pro-Ukrainian patriotic position and criticism of Russian neo-imperialism. Both in his Russian-language poetry and in his prose blog entries, Khersonskii reacted by ironically appropriating the propagandistic formula of “Russophobia”. Over the post-Euromaidan years the poet increasingly added Ukrainianlanguage translations of his Russian poems and texts originally written in  Ukrainian to his portfolio. This paper investigates the self-translations which can be found online in Khersonskii‘s Facebook blog dating from October 30, 2013 to February 19, 2019 and defends the thesis that self-translation and bilingual blogging, despite contrary declarations of the poet,   serve the goal of mitigating the language conflict in post-Maidan Ukraine.

Dirk Uffelmann is professor of East and West Slavic Literatures at Justus Liebig University Giessen. His research interests include Russian, Polish, Czech, and Ukrainian literatures, migration, masculinity, and internet studies. He has  authored 4 monographs (two of them forthcoming) and co-edited 14 volumes, including Contemporary Polish Migrant Culture and Literature in Germany, Ireland, and the UK (2011), Tam, vnutri. Praktiki vnutrennei kolonizatsii v kul’turnoi istorii Rossii [There within: Practices of Internal  Colonization in Russia’s Cultural History] (2012), Vladimir Sorokin’s Languages (2013), and Postcolonial Slavic Literatures After Communism (2016).

Moderation: Professor Dr. Roman Dubasevych

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