Sincerity out, Authenticity in: Poetry on the Quest for Trust in the times of Post-Truth

Lecture | February 12 | 5:30-7 p.m. | B-4 Dwinelle Hall

 Stanislav Lvovsky, Auhtor

 Institute of Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies (ISEEES), Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures

Back then in the first half of 1990s new generation of Russian poets, — or its considerable part — found itself facing the challenge of inventing a new way to speak straightforwardly: readily available poetics either weren’t quite fit for the job or themselves were part of the problem to be resolved. Poetry optics, which has emerged at the time in the capacity of the solution, was the “new sincerity”. The new generation of poets entering the scene since the mid-2010s, face completely new challenges, shaped mostly not by the previously dominant poetry practices, but by the discourses of power. New political forces, probably not quite suitably labelled as “populist” have not just appropriated but in fact, weaponized the notion of sincerity. More often than not poetry feels itself obligated to work up its fix in relation to the new everchanging, opportunistic and largely immoral “sincerity” of the public discourse — and all the more so because this discourse is so extremely pervasive and mechanisms of defence are not yet created or, often not even imagined. Of course in a situation like this, a multiplicity of strategies emerge. Some of such strategies consider pursuing authenticity rather than (compromised) sincerity, while others are desperately seeking a new locus for the poetic voice which can be trusted not only by others but also by the speaker him- or herself.