Studi Slavistici XIX (2022) 1
Articoli

“Prorubono, vytjagono”. The Philosophy of the Voice in Vladimir Sorokin’s The Factory Committee Meeting

Manuel Ghilarducci
Humboldt University of Berlin
Bio
Published May 28, 2022
Keywords
  • Sorokin,
  • Voice,
  • Language,
  • Extimacy,
  • Soc-Art,
  • Logos,
  • Bare Life
  • ...More
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How to Cite
Ghilarducci , M. (2022). “Prorubono, vytjagono”. The Philosophy of the Voice in Vladimir Sorokin’s The Factory Committee Meeting. Studi Slavistici, 19(1), 101-118. https://doi.org/10.36253/Studi_Slavis-10007

Abstract

The article investigates the poetics of language in Vladimir Sorokin’s The Factory Committee Meeting from a new point of view. This tale, which dates to the author’s early short prose (1979-1984), has been unanimously regarded as one of the many examples of literary soc–art. Accordingly, the deformed words pronounced in the main event of the text – a collective ritual of violence – have been considered as a device to deconstruct official Soviet ideological discourse (novojaz). However, the neologisms pronounced by the characters (prorubono, vytjagono and others) are not linked to novojaz. Rather, they are arcane words with a strong performative character, which is, paradoxically, linked to the fact that they apparently do not mean anything. In my investigation, I consider these neologisms as a device to deconstruct language as such. Following Mladen Dolar’s philosophy of the voice and Giorgio Agamben’s consideration on the role voice and bare life play in human existence, I regard the deformed words in The Factory Committee Meeting as the literary representation of a point of transition from pure voice / sound (phonē) as the expression of bare life () to the articulated language (logos) which socio-political life (bíos) is based on. I call this liminal stage extimacy (Dolar) and ‘zone of indistinguishability’ (Agamben): a movement of exclusion and, at the same time, inclusion of pure voice and bare life in the logos of the socio-political community.

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