Author and Putin critic Viktor Jerofejew speaks at Leuphana

2022-04-13 Lüneburg. Leuphana University of Lüneburg wants to give a voice to Russian criticism of Vladimir Putin. It has invited Viktor Yerofeyev, one of the best-known contemporary Russian authors, to give a public lecture.

The lecture will take place on April 21 at 6:00 p.m. in the Libeskind Auditorium at Leuphana.

Throughout his life, Yerofeyev has repeatedly spoken out as an astute critic of Russian politics, Putinism, and authoritarianism, taking a literary stand with his novels and essays. His latest novel, "The Great Gopnik," for example, which has just been completed, is a novel between dream and reality of his life under Putin. On this evening at Leuphana, he will speak about his work and activities, as well as his literary quest for "Russian Happiness."

The author and former professor of literature at the International University in Moscow has recently left Russia because he is exposed to great dangers in his home country due to his stance and statements on the politics of the Kremlin. He is settling in Germany with his family for the time being and will continue to be involved with Leuphana beyond this lecture. Starting this summer, he will hold a visiting professorship in literature at the Faculty of Cultural Studies.

"It is important to us to support people who are exposed to repression or danger in their home countries to the best of our ability and to offer them an intellectual home. In accordance with this principle, we offer our help to refugee academics from Ukraine and dissidents who are at risk due to the domestic political situation in Russia," says University President Sascha Spoun, explaining Leuphana's commitment.

The lecture will be held in English.
The subsequent discussion will be moderated by Dr. Heinrich Wefing, journalist and co-head of the politics department of DIE ZEIT.


Viktor Jerofejew, born in Moscow in 1947 to a family of diplomats, became known worldwide for his novel "The Moscow Beauty," published in 1989 and translated into 27 languages. Viktor Yerofeyev received his doctorate in 1975 with a dissertation on "Dostoevsky and French Existentialism." Since then he has written numerous novels, including "Life with an Idiot" (1980, Engl. 1991), "Encyclopedia of the Russian Soul" (1999, Engl. 2021), "The Good Stalin" (2004, Engl. 2004/2021), "The Akimudes. A Nonhuman Novel" (2012, Engl. 2013) or the collection of essays "Russian Apocalypse" (Engl. 2009). He writes regularly for the FAZ, DIE ZEIT, and DIE WELT as well as for the New York Times Book Review; he is also the editor of the first Russian Nabokov edition.