The First RUSA Tearoom readings took place last Thursday!
A new format of meetings has created to get more information and understanding the LGBTIQ identity issues from the literature perspective! We always ask ourselves, how are we represented in different cultures, and what gives us a sense of belonging? Do we have our own literature, and culture in general? Can we find the different ways to think, to feel, to love, to suffer from the nostalgia as an “imagined” community?
We were reading one of the first Post-Soviet published queer novel, called “The Fence” (“Сетка. Тюремный роман”) by Gennadiy Trifonov. Trifonov was persecuted by the Soviet Government in 1976 as a “sodomite” (Article 121 of the Penal Code), just because he had signed up a petition supported Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. He spent 4 years in prisons (Leningrad, Vologda, Berezniki), where he got an idea for the novel. He describes an untypical “love story” of two young guys (18 and 20 years old) learning to survive and stay strong in the completely marginalized milieu, and, at the same time, don’t turn away from emotions (so desirable and rare in a jail) such as understanding, compassion, warmth, support etc. Touchable, painful, and captivating!
P.S. you can get more information about the author here:
You can also download the novel at: