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Andrej Platonow:
Dshan oder Die erste sozialistische Tragödie. Prosa. Essays. Briefe
Roter Salon

In German

Book launch

Translated by Michael Leetz
Reading: Silvia Rieger

Andrei Platonov is known as a prophetic writer who predicted the tragic history of the Soviet Union in his works. Even today, however, it's still little known that a highly-relevant strand of ecological thought also runs through his literary work. With Dshan oder Die erste sozialistische Tragödie, Platonov will be tapped into as ecological prophet for the first time.

This new collection spans an arc from Platonov's early journalistic work, in which he touts the use of energy from the sun and overcoming the depletion of nature, to the essay titled “On the First Socialist Tragedy” (1934). In this key text Platonov, on the one hand, reacts to Stalin's drastic industrialisation, which enslaved people and destroyed nature, and on the other, warns of a future ecological catastrophe that's imminent if people don't manage to change their attitudes.

The novel Dshan (1935) tells of a small group of nomadic people that earns a new soul on its path of suffering through the desert. In the context of Platonov's ecological thought, the novel reveals itself to be a utopia of a humanity capable of living in harmony with nature and warding off the danger of its self-inflicted downfall.

A significant number of the texts in the volume have not been previously published in German. It's also the first time that Dshan has been translated based on the uncensored original version that was released in 1999.

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