This article examines contemporary Russian postmodernist author Vladimir Sorokin's use of food thematics primarily in works written since the year 2000. Sorokin is perhaps best known for his signature technique of using grotesque sexual or violent imagery to parody the truth claims of various kinds of discourse, whether ideological, religious, or aesthetic. However, in a number of works, beginning with his first novel, The Norm (1983–87), and extending up to such recent short novels such as Day of an Oprichnik (2006) and Candy Kremlin (2008), Sorokin employs food imagery to critique the push for extreme ideological and social cohesion at the heart of Russia's re-embrace of nationalism and empire in the twenty-first century. The author also employs a broad array of food/eating images to critique the country's long-standing tradition of consuming utopian ideologies—from Dostoevsky and Tolstoy in the nineteenth century to Putinism in the twenty-first.
From Fecal Briquettes to Candy Kremlins: The Edible Ideal in Sorokin's Prose
Keith Livers is Associate Professor of Russian at the University of Texas at Austin, where he teaches Russian literature (nineteenth, twentieth, and twenty-first century), culture, and cinema, and he is currently finishing a monograph on the uses of conspiracy rhetoric in contemporary Russian pop culture and political discourse.
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Keith Livers; From Fecal Briquettes to Candy Kremlins: The Edible Ideal in Sorokin's Prose. Gastronomica 1 November 2017; 17 (4): 26–35. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/gfc.2017.17.4.26
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