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Accepted Paper:

The Building of the Narrative Self in Keshrim Boztayev’s Documentary Novels about the Semipatinsk Polygon  
Assel Uvaliyeva (USC)


This paper focuses on Keshrim Boztayev’s works, Semipalatinsk Polygon and 28th of August that recount his own individual and collective struggle to shutdown the nuclear test site. As Barbara Foley (1986) maintains, documentary narratives represent reality by conventions of fictionality, while grounding itself in empirical evidence. The fictional elements assert the legitimacy of the individual experience in regards to the historical context and inscribe it in a historical dialectic. Boztayev presented his account of events as an oppositional force to the grand Soviet narrative. What his novels also do is they continually create a community of solidarity as he assembled and reassembled his story, producing altogether four documentary novels. This paper attempts to show how a marginal literary work authenticates collective trauma.

Panel T80LIT
Literary Representations of Central Asian Ecocatastrophes: Orientalist Imagination, Collective Trauma, and Post-Soviet Nostalgias
  Session 1 Friday 7 June, 2024, -