Julia Vainghurt: “The Queer Holy Foolishness of Evgenii Kharitonov”

Date / Time

April 9, 2019 - April 9, 2019

4:00 pm - 6:00 pm

Julia Vaingurt, 2018-2019 Institute for the Humanities Faculty Fellow

“The Queer Holy Foolishness of Evgenii Kharitonov”

Evgeny Kharitonov’s collection of autobiographical short stories Under House Arrest was widely circulated in dissident underground circles but was never published in the Soviet Union due to its frank descriptions of gay love.  Formally, Kharitonov’s writing is highly stylized and modeled on the solemn and mellifluous speech patterns of Russian religious philosopher Vasily Rozanov and Father Zosima in Fyodor Dostoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov.  I am interested in exploring how Kharitonov inscribes both his vulnerable existence in the margins of Russian society and his homosexuality into the Russian literary and cultural tradition, with its emphasis on humility, resignation, and holy foolishness.

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