Science Fiction Film & Television

The scent of a former life

The Czech adaptation of the Strugatskiis’ story The Kid

Science Fiction Film & Television (2015), 8, (2), 179–198.

Abstract

Arkadii and Boris Strugatskii’s story Malysh (The Kid; 1971) is often analysed as the text in which the authors first turn from adventure sf to social sf, which focuses on problems of alienation and dehumanisation and on questions of private and social identity. The contextual analysis of the novel and its adaptation Nesmluvená setkání (Unexpected Encounters; Czech Republic 1994), directed by Irena Pavlásková, reveals a serious discrepancy between the postcolonial focus of the Czech adaptation and a more elaborate and multilevel philosophical reading of the Strugatskiis’ story. This article develops the role of the Strugatskiis’ texts as part of the post-Soviet phenomenon of nostalgia for the future within neoconservative intellectual circles. In this interpretation, the Strugatskii brothers’ legacy is included in a new politico-technological and ideological context of imperial sf and transhumanism.

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Langer, Jessica. Postcolonialism and Science Fiction. New York: Palgrave MacMillan, 2011. Postcolonialism and Science Fiction Google Scholar

Laruelle, Marlene. ‘Conservatism as the Kremlin’s New Toolkit: An Ideology at the Lowest Cost’. Russian Analytical Digest 138 (2013): 2–4. http://www.css.ethz.ch/publications/pdfs/RAD-138-2-4.pdf. Accessed 19 Dec 2014. Google Scholar

Laruelle, Marlene. ‘Totalitarian Utopia, Occult, and Technological Modernity in Russia: The Intellectual Experience of Cosmism’. The New Age of Russia: Occult and Esoteric Dimensions. Ed. Birgit Menzel, Michael Hagemeister and Bernice Glatzer Rosenthal. München: Verlag Otto Sagner, 2012. 238–58. Totalitarian Utopia, Occult, and Technological Modernity in Russia: The Intellectual Experience of Cosmism The New Age of Russia: Occult and Esoteric Dimensions 238 58 Google Scholar

Lobin, Alexandr. ‘Povestvovatel’noe prostranstvo i magistral’nyi siuzhet sovremennogo istoriko-fantasticheskogo romana’. PhD, Ul’ianovsk State Technical University, 2008. http://venec.ulstu.ru/lib/disk/2008/Lobin.pdf. Accessed 19 Dec. 2014. Google Scholar

Maguire, Muireann. Stalin’s Ghosts: Gothic Themes in Early Soviet Literature. Oxford: Peter Lang, 2012. Stalin’s Ghosts: Gothic Themes in Early Soviet Literature Google Scholar

Makarychev, Andrei, and Alexandra Yatsyk. ‘A New Russian Conservatism: Domestic Roots and Repercussions for Europe’. Notes Internacionals CIDOB 93 (2014). http://www.cidob.org/en/publications/notes_internacionals/n1_93/a_new_russian_conservatism_domestic_roots_and_repercussions_for_europe. Accessed 19 Dec 2014. Google Scholar

Manifest strategicheskogo obshchestvennogo dvizhenia ‘Rossia 2045’. Rossiia 2045. http://2045.ru/manifest/. Accessed 19 Dec. 2014. Google Scholar

Mart’ianov, Viktor, and Leonid Fishman. Rossiia v poiskakh utopii: Ot moral’nogo kollapsa k moral’noi revoliutsii. Moskva: Ves’ mir, 2010. Rossiia v poiskakh utopii: Ot moral’nogo kollapsa k moral’noi revoliutsii Google Scholar

Menzel, Birgit, Michael Hagemeister and Bernice Glatzer Rosenthal, eds. The New Age of Russia: Occult and Esoteric Dimensions. München: Otto Sagner Verlag, 2012. The New Age of Russia: Occult and Esoteric Dimensions Google Scholar

Mezhuev, Boris. ‘Taina “Mira poldnia”’. Gefter (28 Nov 2012). http://gefter.ru/archive/6893. Accessed 19 Dec 2014. Google Scholar

Moskvin, Ivan. ‘Sakral’naia fantastika’. Znamia 1 (2005). http://magazines.russ.ru/znamia/2005/1/mo18.html. Accessed 19 Dec. 2014. Google Scholar

Neelov, Evgenii. Fol’klornyi intertekst russkoi fantastiki. Petrozavodsk: Petrozavodskii gosudarstvennyi universitet, 2002. http://philolog.petrsu.ru/filolog/uchebnik.pdf. Accessed 19 Dec 2014. Google Scholar

Prozorov, Sergei. ‘Russian Conservatism in the Putin Presidency: The Dispersion of a Hegemonic Discourse’. Journal of Political Ideologies 10.2 (2005): 121–43. http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/13569310500097224. Accessed 19 Dec 2014. Google Scholar

‘O proekte’. Russkaia ideia. http://politconservatism.ru/about/. Accessed 19 Dec 2014. Google Scholar

Siddiqi, Asif. ‘Imagining the Cosmos: Utopians, Mystics, and the Popular Culture of Spaceflight in Revolutionary Russia’. Osiris 23 (2008): 260–88. Imagining the Cosmos: Utopians, Mystics, and the Popular Culture of Spaceflight in Revolutionary Russia Osiris 23 260 88 Google Scholar

Siddiqi, Asif. ‘From Cosmic Enthusiasm to Nostalgia for the Future’. Soviet Space Culture: Cosmic Enthusiasm in Socialist Societies. Ed. Eva Mauer, Julia Richers, Monica Rüthers and Carmen Scheide. London: Palgrave MacMillan, 2011. 283–306. From Cosmic Enthusiasm to Nostalgia for the Future Soviet Space Culture: Cosmic Enthusiasm in Socialist Societies 283 306 Google Scholar

Strugatskie, Arkadii and Boris. Obitaemyi Ostrov; Malysh. Moscow: AST, 2003. 371–538. Obitaemyi Ostrov; Malysh 371 538 Google Scholar

Strugatskie, Arkadii and Boris. Nenaznachennye vstrechi. Moskva: Molodaia gvardiia, 1980. Nenaznachennye vstrechi Google Scholar

Vinnikov, Vladimir. ‘Strugatskie lebedi: Beseda s Sergeem Kurginyanom’. Zavtra (14 Jan 2012). http://www.zavtra.ru/content/view/strugatskie-igra-v-istoriyu/. Accessed 19 Dec 2014. Google Scholar

Volodikhin, Dmitrii. ‘Imperskie gumanoidy’. Politicheskii zhurnal 20 (2006). http://www.politjournal.ru/index.php?action=Articles&dirid=67&tek=5764&issue=162. Accessed 19 Dec 2014 Google Scholar

Young, George M. The Russian Cosmists: The Esoteric Futurism of Nikolai Fedorov and His Followers. New York: Oxford UP, 2013. The Russian Cosmists: The Esoteric Futurism of Nikolai Fedorov and His Followers Google Scholar

Yurchak, Alexei. Everything Was Forever, Until It Was No More: The Last Soviet Generation. Princeton: Princeton UP, 2006. Everything Was Forever, Until It Was No More: The Last Soviet Generation Google Scholar

Andrews, James, and Asif Siddiqi, eds. Into the Cosmos. Space Exploration and Soviet Culture. Pittsburgh: Pittsburgh UP, 2011. Into the Cosmos. Space Exploration and Soviet Culture Google Scholar

Boym, Svetlana. The Future of Nostalgia. New York: Basic Books, 2001. The Future of Nostalgia Google Scholar

Denisov, Mikhail, and Viktor Militarev. ‘Russkoiazychnaia fantastika kak tenevoi dukhovnyi lider’. Russkii zhurnal (12 Feb 2003). http://old.russ.ru/krug/20030212_fant.html. Accessed 19 Dec 2014. Google Scholar

Dubin, Boris. ‘Vozvrashenie “Bol’shogo stilia”? Staroe i novoe v trekh teleekranizat-siiakh 2005 goda’. Novoe literaturnoe obozrenie 78 (2006). http://magazines.russ.ru/nlo/2006/78/du16.html. Accessed 19 Dec 2014. Google Scholar

Engström, Maria. ‘Military Dandyism, Cosmism, and Eurasian Imper-art’. Russia’s New Fin de Siècle: Contemporary Culture between Past and Present. Ed. Birgit Beumers. Bristol: Intellect, 2013. 99–118. Russia’s New Fin de Siècle: Contemporary Culture between Past and Present 99 118 Google Scholar

Engström, Maria. ‘Contemporary Russian Messianism and New Russian Foreign Policy’. Contemporary Security Policy 35:3 (2014): 356–79. Contemporary Russian Messianism and New Russian Foreign Policy Contemporary Security Policy 35 356 79 Google Scholar

Gorbachev, Mikhail. ‘Evropa – nash obshchii dom’. Mikhail Gorbachev. Perestroika i novoe myshlenie dlia nashei strany i dlia vsego mira. Moskva: Politizdat, 1988. 199–219. Evropa – nash obshchii dom’. Mikhail Gorbachev Perestroika i novoe myshlenie dlia nashei strany i dlia vsego mira 199 219 Google Scholar

Hagemeister, Michael. ‘Konstantin Tsiolkovskii and the Occult Roots of Soviet Space Travel’. The New Age of Russia. Occult and Esoteric Dimensions. Ed. Birgit Menzel, Michael Hagemeister and Bernice Glatzer Rosenthal. München: Otto Sagner Verlag, 2012. 135–50. Konstantin Tsiolkovskii and the Occult Roots of Soviet Space Travel The New Age of Russia. Occult and Esoteric Dimensions 135 50 Google Scholar

Havran, Jan. ‘Nesmluvená setkání Ireny Pavláskové s bratry Strugackými – Cesta ke vzniku žánrového televizního filmu v první půli devadesátých let’. BA, Masaryk University (Brno), 2011. Nesmluvená setkání Ireny Pavláskové s bratry Strugackými – Cesta ke vzniku žánrového televizního filmu v první půli devadesátých let Google Scholar

Howell, Yvonne. Apocalyptic Realism: The Science Fiction of Arkady and Boris Strugatsky. New York: Peter Lang, 1994. Apocalyptic Realism: The Science Fiction of Arkady and Boris Strugatsky Google Scholar

Itskov, Dmitrii. ‘U nas est’ shans izmenit’ khod istorii vsego chelovechestva. Otkrytoe pis’mo prezidentu Rossii V.V. Putinu’. Rossia 2045 (10 May 2012). http://2045.ru/articles/29844.html. Accessed 19 Dec 2014 Google Scholar

Iudanova, Maria. ‘Krizis kul’tury v sovremennoi russkoiazychnoi fantastike’. PhD, State Academy of Slavonic Culture (GASK; Moscow), 2012. Krizis kul’tury v sovremennoi russkoiazychnoi fantastike Google Scholar

Ivanov, Boris. ‘Utomlennyie griaz’u: Recenziia na film Trudno byt’ bogom’. Natsional’nyi kinoportal Film.ru (26 Feb 2014). http://www.film.ru/articles/utomlennye-gryazyu. Accessed 19 Dec 2014. Google Scholar

Kalashnikov, Maksim. ‘Kosmicheskii smysl rysskoi istorii’. Zavtra (30 May 2012). http://zavtra.ru/content/view/kosmicheskij-smyisl-russkoj-istorii/. Accessed 19 Dec 2014 Google Scholar

Khagi, Sofya. ‘One Billion Years after the End of the World: Historical Deadlock, Contemporary Dystopia, and the Continuing Legacy of the Strugatskii Brothers’. Slavic Review 72 (2013): 267–86. One Billion Years after the End of the World: Historical Deadlock, Contemporary Dystopia, and the Continuing Legacy of the Strugatskii Brothers Slavic Review 72 267 86 Google Scholar

Kovalev, Viktor. ‘Rossiiskaia fantastika kak politologiia’. Politicheskii klass 2 (2008): 92–111. Rossiiskaia fantastika kak politologiia Politicheskii klass 2 92 111 Google Scholar

Kovalev, Viktor. Fantastika, politicheskaia utopia i konvergentnye tekhnologii. Saarbrüken: Lambert Academic, 2013. Fantastika, politicheskaia utopia i konvergentnye tekhnologii Google Scholar

Langer, Jessica. Postcolonialism and Science Fiction. New York: Palgrave MacMillan, 2011. Postcolonialism and Science Fiction Google Scholar

Laruelle, Marlene. ‘Conservatism as the Kremlin’s New Toolkit: An Ideology at the Lowest Cost’. Russian Analytical Digest 138 (2013): 2–4. http://www.css.ethz.ch/publications/pdfs/RAD-138-2-4.pdf. Accessed 19 Dec 2014. Google Scholar

Laruelle, Marlene. ‘Totalitarian Utopia, Occult, and Technological Modernity in Russia: The Intellectual Experience of Cosmism’. The New Age of Russia: Occult and Esoteric Dimensions. Ed. Birgit Menzel, Michael Hagemeister and Bernice Glatzer Rosenthal. München: Verlag Otto Sagner, 2012. 238–58. Totalitarian Utopia, Occult, and Technological Modernity in Russia: The Intellectual Experience of Cosmism The New Age of Russia: Occult and Esoteric Dimensions 238 58 Google Scholar

Lobin, Alexandr. ‘Povestvovatel’noe prostranstvo i magistral’nyi siuzhet sovremennogo istoriko-fantasticheskogo romana’. PhD, Ul’ianovsk State Technical University, 2008. http://venec.ulstu.ru/lib/disk/2008/Lobin.pdf. Accessed 19 Dec. 2014. Google Scholar

Maguire, Muireann. Stalin’s Ghosts: Gothic Themes in Early Soviet Literature. Oxford: Peter Lang, 2012. Stalin’s Ghosts: Gothic Themes in Early Soviet Literature Google Scholar

Makarychev, Andrei, and Alexandra Yatsyk. ‘A New Russian Conservatism: Domestic Roots and Repercussions for Europe’. Notes Internacionals CIDOB 93 (2014). http://www.cidob.org/en/publications/notes_internacionals/n1_93/a_new_russian_conservatism_domestic_roots_and_repercussions_for_europe. Accessed 19 Dec 2014. Google Scholar

Manifest strategicheskogo obshchestvennogo dvizhenia ‘Rossia 2045’. Rossiia 2045. http://2045.ru/manifest/. Accessed 19 Dec. 2014. Google Scholar

Mart’ianov, Viktor, and Leonid Fishman. Rossiia v poiskakh utopii: Ot moral’nogo kollapsa k moral’noi revoliutsii. Moskva: Ves’ mir, 2010. Rossiia v poiskakh utopii: Ot moral’nogo kollapsa k moral’noi revoliutsii Google Scholar

Menzel, Birgit, Michael Hagemeister and Bernice Glatzer Rosenthal, eds. The New Age of Russia: Occult and Esoteric Dimensions. München: Otto Sagner Verlag, 2012. The New Age of Russia: Occult and Esoteric Dimensions Google Scholar

Mezhuev, Boris. ‘Taina “Mira poldnia”’. Gefter (28 Nov 2012). http://gefter.ru/archive/6893. Accessed 19 Dec 2014. Google Scholar

Moskvin, Ivan. ‘Sakral’naia fantastika’. Znamia 1 (2005). http://magazines.russ.ru/znamia/2005/1/mo18.html. Accessed 19 Dec. 2014. Google Scholar

Neelov, Evgenii. Fol’klornyi intertekst russkoi fantastiki. Petrozavodsk: Petrozavodskii gosudarstvennyi universitet, 2002. http://philolog.petrsu.ru/filolog/uchebnik.pdf. Accessed 19 Dec 2014. Google Scholar

Prozorov, Sergei. ‘Russian Conservatism in the Putin Presidency: The Dispersion of a Hegemonic Discourse’. Journal of Political Ideologies 10.2 (2005): 121–43. http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/13569310500097224. Accessed 19 Dec 2014. Google Scholar

‘O proekte’. Russkaia ideia. http://politconservatism.ru/about/. Accessed 19 Dec 2014. Google Scholar

Siddiqi, Asif. ‘Imagining the Cosmos: Utopians, Mystics, and the Popular Culture of Spaceflight in Revolutionary Russia’. Osiris 23 (2008): 260–88. Imagining the Cosmos: Utopians, Mystics, and the Popular Culture of Spaceflight in Revolutionary Russia Osiris 23 260 88 Google Scholar

Siddiqi, Asif. ‘From Cosmic Enthusiasm to Nostalgia for the Future’. Soviet Space Culture: Cosmic Enthusiasm in Socialist Societies. Ed. Eva Mauer, Julia Richers, Monica Rüthers and Carmen Scheide. London: Palgrave MacMillan, 2011. 283–306. From Cosmic Enthusiasm to Nostalgia for the Future Soviet Space Culture: Cosmic Enthusiasm in Socialist Societies 283 306 Google Scholar

Strugatskie, Arkadii and Boris. Obitaemyi Ostrov; Malysh. Moscow: AST, 2003. 371–538. Obitaemyi Ostrov; Malysh 371 538 Google Scholar

Strugatskie, Arkadii and Boris. Nenaznachennye vstrechi. Moskva: Molodaia gvardiia, 1980. Nenaznachennye vstrechi Google Scholar

Vinnikov, Vladimir. ‘Strugatskie lebedi: Beseda s Sergeem Kurginyanom’. Zavtra (14 Jan 2012). http://www.zavtra.ru/content/view/strugatskie-igra-v-istoriyu/. Accessed 19 Dec 2014. Google Scholar

Volodikhin, Dmitrii. ‘Imperskie gumanoidy’. Politicheskii zhurnal 20 (2006). http://www.politjournal.ru/index.php?action=Articles&dirid=67&tek=5764&issue=162. Accessed 19 Dec 2014 Google Scholar

Young, George M. The Russian Cosmists: The Esoteric Futurism of Nikolai Fedorov and His Followers. New York: Oxford UP, 2013. The Russian Cosmists: The Esoteric Futurism of Nikolai Fedorov and His Followers Google Scholar

Yurchak, Alexei. Everything Was Forever, Until It Was No More: The Last Soviet Generation. Princeton: Princeton UP, 2006. Everything Was Forever, Until It Was No More: The Last Soviet Generation Google Scholar

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Engström, Maria