Follow-up to: Why does Andrey Kurkov write in Russian?

In an interview with the New York Times, Andrey Kurkov defended the fact that he published novels in Russian and stated that it's reductionist to assume that only literature written in the Ukrainian language is Ukrainian literature. (See the linked question).

However, in an interview with PBS published a month earlier, he stressed the importance of the Ukrainian language and states that he's willing to write exclusively in it instead of in Russian (as he has in the past) as a "political gesture."

I'm somewhat confused by his views as far as the language issue goes. On the one hand, he thinks that it's possible to write Ukrainian literature in Russian, but on the other hand he sees the Ukrainian language as critical to Ukrainian culture (but he also appears to view writing in Ukrainian instead of Russian as a "political gesture"). Can someone explain his view of writing in Russian to me?

  • did you notice that he says "I am ethnic Russian"?
    – Andra
    Dec 28, 2022 at 16:56
  • @Andra Yes, he was born in Leningrad (now St. Petersburg) Dec 28, 2022 at 17:02
  • 1
    An ethnic Russian writes in Russian. Russia starts a brutal war with his country. "Ukrainians and Russians speakers...are killed in the name of ..defending Russian language." "I feel ashamed."
    – Andra
    Dec 28, 2022 at 18:14


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