Cover Osteuropa 1-2/2019

In Osteuropa 1-2/2019

Literature and history
M. Gigolashvili’s Tainyi god and the image of Ivan IV

Ingunn Lunde

Deutsche Fassung


Literature makes a contribution to a country’s culture of remembrance. In Russia, Ivan (IV) the Terrible is being shown in an increasingly positive light. Mikhail Gigolashvili’s novel Tainyi god (The Secret Year) is also set in the time of Ivan IV. Gigolashvili takes a closer look at the emotional life of the tsar. He uses a rich, sensual language that is partly based on Ivan’s own style. Gigo-lashvili illustrates Ivan’s historical personality with its inconsistencies, contra-dictions and abysses. In so doing, he offers a counternarrative to the new, mythologised image of the official portrayal of Ivan IV. At the same time, the novel diagnoses the present-day situation: cloaked in a historical perspec-tive, the themes are the same as those of Russia today.

(Osteuropa 1-2/2019, pp. 163–176)