Events Series
© Jürgen Bauer © Jürgen Bauer

“Platonov took the Revolution at its word” – "The Foundation Pit" as a Philosophical Concept. Dževad Karahasan in Conversation with Lothar Müller

Platonov Readings IV

“A real revolution cannot be limited to changing the power relationships in a society, making the rich poor and the poor wealthy. It must lead all life back to its origins, changing, improving, fulfilling.” The Bosnian writer Dževad Karahasan, who describes Platonov as his teacher, refuses to accept the narrow, anti-communist interpretation of The Foundation Pit. In his view, Platonov took the Revolution literally, in the same way as Francis of Assisi understood Christianity. It seizes hold not only of people, but also of the birds, the trees, the weather. It breathes a soul into machines. Its heroes can only function in the complex contexts of history, meteorology and the natural processes. This also appears to apply to Karahasan’s latest novel The Solace of the Night Sky (2016), which otherwise has no connection at all with The Foundation Pit. Or perhaps it does? Can we really call Platonov a “saint of the communist revolution”, as Karahasan does? The author will discuss this and other questions with literary critic Lothar Müller.