What can one expect from depictions of food consumption by an author notorious for violating aesthetic taboos, one widely described as a “cruel talent” and an “enfant terrible,” arguably the most prominent contemporary Russian writer, Vladimir Sorokin (b. 1955)? Cannibalism and coprophagia? Yes, sure, but not just that: disgust is only one facet in the wide spectre of functions food performs in Sorokin’s works, ranging from political allegory through ethical solidarity and intercultural stereotypes to fantastic incorporation. A common underpinning is the metadiscursive – or in this case, metaculinary – nature of Sorokin’s food fictions, a feature which connects the early Sorokin of late-Soviet Moscow Conceptualism with the allegedly post-conceptualist author of the 2000s.
Please be advised the lecture will contain language which some may find disturbing.