An Outside View/Léargas Taobh Amuigh An Rúis, an náisiúnachas agus an litríocht
2017-04-01 17:25:53 -
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1952
Panu Höglund

D’éirigh sé soiléir doshéanta le giota maith ama anuas go bhfuil Vladimir Putin fial flaithiúil ag tál tacaíochta ar pháirtithe ciníocha agus ar eagraíochtaí nua-Naitsíocha san iarthar. 

Ábhar déistine é go bhfuil an Rúis ag fabhrú do na dreamanna seo, le taobhshúil ar chomh tábhachtach is atá an Dara Cogadh Domhanda – an cogadh in aghaidh an Naitsíochais – d’fhéiniúlacht chomhaimseartha na Rúise. Tá sé dochreidte ag go leor againn go mbeadh Putin féin chomh suarach sin. Caithfidh muid a admháil, áfach, go mbeadh. 

Agus ós duine mise atá ag déanamh taighde agus staidéir ar litríocht na Rúise i dteanga na Rúise, is dual dom míniú a chuardach sa litríocht sin.

Muintir iad na Rúisigh nár theip na scileanna ealaíontóireachta agus scríbhneoireachta orthu riamh, agus chuala an saol mór iomrá ar litríocht na tíre sin. Is eol dá lán – dá lán nach speisialtóirí iad, fiú – go ndearna an litríocht gnó na polaitíochta i saol na Rúise riamh, toisc nach raibh diospóireacht pholaitiúil ceadaithe sa tír, i ré na n-impirí ná i ré na gcumannach. Bhí scríbhneoirí easaontacha á ngéarleanúint san Aontas Shóivéadach, ach san am chéanna bhí an bhaicle cheannasach admhálach go raibh bealach éigin de dhíth le smaointí criticiúla a chur in iúl tríd gan an córas cumhachta a chur i mbaol. Ba iad na scríbhneoirí náisiúnaíocha Rúiseacha ab fhearr a d’fheil don chuspóir sin.

Ar chúiseanna nádúrtha bhí na húdaráis i bhfad ní b’fhulangaí, ní ba thuisceanaí i leith na náisiúnaithe Rúiseacha ná na náisiúnaithe mionlaigh. Chuidigh na náisiúnaithe Rúiseacha leo an t-ollstát mór millteanach a choinneáil le chéile – san am chéanna ní raibh mórán ruspa ag an stát Sóivéadach leis na náisiúnaithe Úcránacha, Eastónacha nó eile, ó bhí a scarúnachas siúd ag bagairt ar aontacht an stáit.

Ba iad na prós-scríbhneoirí tuaithe na naisiúnaithe liteartha ba mhó a tharraing súil orthu féin nuair a bhí an tAontas Sóivéadach beo breabhsánta i gcónaí. Scoil scríbhneoirí a bhí iontu a tháinig ar an bhfód i ndiaidh bhás Stailín, agus iad ag cáineadh an léirscrios a bhí déanta ag polasaithe brúidiúla an deachtóra faoin tuath. 

Fuair siad locht ar na hathruithe móra a bhí ollscéimeanna tógála an stáit a dhéanamh ar an gcomhshaol, ar an timpeallacht nádúrtha – bhí siad ina gceannródaithe ag déanamh agóide in aghaidh tionscadail fhrith-éiceolaíocha san Aontas Sóivéadach.

Thairis sin, bhí siad míshásta leis an gcuma a tháinig ar an teanga Rúisise féin faoi thionchar na sluaghairmeanna bolscaireachta agus sna meáin chumarsáide, agus iad ag dul ar lorg friotail nua i ngnáthchaint na ndaoine faoin tuath.

Is féidir bheith báúil leis na scríbhneoirí tuaithe agus le cuid mhór de na cúiseanna a bhí á gcur chun cinn acu. Ba é an locht a bhí ar an gcuid ba mhó acu ná go raibh siad ag cur in aghaidh an tsaoil nua-aimseartha go léir: tipiciúil go leor ní raibh siad fáiltiúil roimh an dóigh a ndeachaigh an t-iarthar i bhfeidhm ar a dtír dhúchais féin ach an oiread. Ar ndóigh, chinntigh an frithnua-aoiseachas seo freisin nach raibh urchóid pholaitiúil iontu don Pháirtí Chumannach mar a bhí sna heasaontóirí liobrálacha iarthar-bháúla, nó ba léir nach mbeadh muintir na gcathrach Sóivéadach sásta tacaíocht a thabhairt d’aon ghluaiseacht fhrithghníomhach a bheadh ag iarraidh deireadh a chur leis an tsibhialtacht uirbeach.

An chuid ba mhó de na scríbhneoirí tuaithe bhí dearcadh frith-Ghiúdach acu. Cosúil lena lán frithghníomhach rompu chreid siad i gcomhcheilg Ghiúdach a chuir cor i gcinniúint an domhain ionas gur tháinig meath ar an saol ídileach (mar dhea) réamhnua-aoiseach.
Bhí cead áirithe acu an smaointeachas seo a chraobhscaoileadh san Aontas Shóivéadach, agus ní raibh saoirse diospóireachta ann a thabharfadh cead cainte do dhaoine a bheadh in ann na comhchosúlachtaí idir smaointe na scríbhneoirí tuaithe agus an Faisisteachas stairiúil a aithint is a mhíniú.

Mar sin fágadh tuairimí na ndaoine seo gan cheistiú ag dul i bhfeidhm ar mheon na ndaoine. Agus anois, is féidir le hUachtarán neamhscrupallach na Rúise a leas féin a bhaint as an meon céanna le tacaíocht dá chuid eachtraí cogaidh a mhealladh ón gcoitiantacht.

Scríbhneoirí Gaeilge ón bhFionlainn é Panu Höglund.




Russia, nationalism and literature

Panu Höglund

For some time now it has been obvious and undeniable that Vladimir Putin is generously supporting racist parties and neo-Nazi organisations in western countries.

It is disgusting to see Russia favouring these groups, knowing how important the Second World War – the war against Nazism – is to contemporary Russian identity. Many of us still find it impossible to believe that even Putin could stoop so low. Now we must admit that he could. And as somebody who studies Russian literature in the original language, I tend to look for an explanation in that literature.

Russians are a people whose artistic and literary talent can hardly be overstated, and their literature is world-famous. Even many non-specialists know that literature has always been a substitute for politics in Russia, because free political debate was not possible neither in imperial nor communist Russia. Dissenting writers were persecuted in the Soviet Union, but at the same time the regime admitted that it needed a safe conduit for critical thought. Russian nationalist writers were that conduit.

Naturally, authorities were much more tolerant and understanding toward Russian nationalists than minority nationalists. Russian nationalists helped to keep the superpower together. At the same time, the Soviet state had little tolerance for Ukrainians, Estonians and other minorities, because their separatism threatened the unity of the state.

Village prose writers were the most famous group of literary nationalists back when the Soviet Union was still alive and kicking. They were a school of writers who formed after Stalin’s demise, and they criticised the destruction of the countryside by that dictator’s brutal policies.

They found fault with the giant construction projects of the state, and their damage to the environment; they pioneered protests against ecologically destructive projects in the Soviet Union.

Moreover, they were unhappy with the influence of propaganda sloganeering and news media jargon on the Russian language, and they searched for new ways of expression in the rural speech of the people.

It is possible to feel sympathy for the village writers and many of the causes they championed. What was bad about them was that they were against modern life, and as such they typically didn’t welcome western influence either.

 Of course their anti-modernism meant that the Communist Party didn’t see them as politically dangerous in the way west-friendly liberal dissenters were, for it was obvious that city people in the Soviet Union wouldn’t be happy to side with any reactionary movement bent on abolishing urban civilisation.

Most village prose writers were antisemitic in their outlook. Similar to many reactionaries before them, they believed in a Jewish conspiracy that changed the course of history so that the supposedly idyllic pre-modern life withered away.

They were relatively free to preach this thinking in the Soviet Union, and there was no free debate that would have given a voice to those who could have pointed out the similarities between the ideas of the village prose writers and those of historical fascism.

Thus, the ideology of these writers went unchallenged, influencing the mentality of the people. And now the unscrupulous president of Russia can make his own use of that mentality in order to enlist support to his warlike adventures from among the common people.

Panu Höglund is a Finn who writes in Irish.

ENDS
TAGS : column russia nationalism literature
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