Varlam Shalamov

Authors catalogue

Josefina Lundblad-Janjic

PhD in Slavic Languages & Literatures from UC Berkeley (2017). With a BA from Gothenburg University and an MA from Ural State University, her research focuses on prison narratives in Russian literature. She’s published on Dostoevsky’s Siberian Notebook and Shalamov’s ‘Tales from the Urals’.

  • Josefina Lundblad-Janjic Shalamov Rediscovered: When A Poet Writes Prose (january 2014)

  • «This year’s International Shalamov Conference made the daring move from theory to practice in a most literal manner: from discussing literary works about the Gulag to visiting the physical site of an actual camp, Vojna, an experience that left all of us deeply moved».

  • Josefina Lundblad-Janjic Poetry and Politics: An Allegorical Reading of Varlam Shalamov’s Poem «Аввакум в Пустозерске»

  • "Shalamov considered his 1955 poem «Аввакум в Пустозерске», composed two years after his return from the camps of Kolyma, one of his most important poems. He also considered the poem, written in amphibrachic dimeter and composed of thirty seven four-line stanzas, to unite the “historical figure” of the seventeenth-century schismatic archpriest Avvakum with elements of “the author’s biography.” Read as an allegory, the poem appears to deal with the violent oppression in the twentieth century which Shalamov personally experienced: the terror under Stalin. A self-proclaimed atheist, Shalamov endows the historical figure of Avvakum not solely with religious but also with political significance: the archpriest of his poem becomes a prominent representative of Russian resistance to the abuse of power. Through the use of allegory, “a place where the political can meet the aesthetic,” Shalamov creates a lyric which, as Avvakum did through his Autobiography three hundred years prior, presents not only a challenge to contemporary society but also an alternative perspective on its most recent past".

  • Josefina Lundblad-Janjic Life and work, world literature and Soviet history. Exploring the moral necessity of Varlam Shalamov

  • During two scorching hot days in the middle of June, a diverse assembly of scholars from Russia and beyond converged in Moscow in search of answers to two questions: What is Varlam Shalamov? And why do we need him?