V. Shalamov in his "The Kolyma stories" presented a picture of social "hell" in which human sufferings pass a limit beyond which the essence of the person is dissolved and disappears in illusive existence. In this "hell" there is no place for morality: the absolute evil triumphs. However, the hopelessness of "the hell" paradoxically gives chance to preserve fundamental distinctions of the good and evil. This chance is given by understanding of the threat of the spiritual death and by resistance against it. Shalamov constructed a paradoxical and sublime interpretation of personal spiritual immortality which depends on the person's determination to resist against this threat.
"Semiotics of Scandal" is the third collection of the series "Mechanisms of culture". It presents the materials of an international conference held at the Center for Slavic studies (Sorbonne, Paris). The authors, using different methodologies, analyze different forms of scandal as one of the dominant categories of the literary process, history, and politics.