Vol 1 No 1 (2010)

Postmodern Strategies of Resistance: Solzhenitsyn and Havel

Stephen P. Sweeting
Athabasca University
Published April 10, 2010


Using two lenses on postmodernism, a leftist perspective articulated by postmodern art theorist Hal Foster and a more right-wing perspective proposed by political philosopher Peter Lawler, this paper explores strategies of resistance arising from the oppression of Eastern Bloc communism during the late twentieth century. Through an exploration of the dissident ideas and practices of Russian novelist Alexandr Solzhenitsyn and Czech playwright and essayist Václav Havel, the paper advances the hypothesis that, despite key ideological differences, a series of significant similarities in the ideas and practices of the two men made them postmodern “fellow travellers” in their stands against the state oppression of the now expired Soviet empire.