This book aims at examining texts, events and phenomena that help explain the environmental cultures of the former Soviet dominion and reconnect memory and environmental history through literature. A key question for this work is: how cultures make environments speak if literature serves as a source of historical knowledge?
Soviet Eastern Europe represents a unique relationship between violence and the landscape, where human and ecological disasters are dramatically converged. Eastern European cultural memory reveals these ecological scars because trauma is perceived here as more than human. Literature of this period is a special kind of radar, showing how language itself was affected by the Soviet colonization of Eastern European cultures and environments; how it was contaminated by Soviet propaganda and a worldview deformed by communism. The scope of the literature I analyse demonstrates a larger argument: history must be reconsidered through memory of the Stalin era and the late stage of heavy modernity.