By Mikhail N. Epstein
This ebook brings jointly for the 1st time in English the main writings of Mikhail Epstein, certainly one of post-Soviet Russia's such a lot in demand theoreticians of cultural experiences and postmodernism. Written from a non-Western perspective but proficient via a familiarity with Western literary idea, it bargains a clean, lucid point of view at the postcommunist literary scene in addition to a realistic and theoretical advent to the hot self-discipline of Russian "culturology." After the long run is additionally the 1st publication to include the improvement of up to date Russian tradition in the framework of postmodernism, an idea whose program has been formerly restricted to the West.
The 4 sections of the publication - Literature, Ideology, tradition, and method - replicate the interdisciplinary diversity of postmodernism in modern Russia. Epstein explores such influential new trends in Russian literature as conceptualism, metarealism, "rear-garde" and discusses the formation of a post-Marxist ideological milieu characterised by means of a paradoxical mix of relativistic and totalitarian patterns.
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Extra info for After the future: the paradoxes of postmodernism and contemporary Russian culture
The term "culturology" was coined in the sixties to designate the scholarly orientation of theorists who realized the significance of uniquely artistic structures while situating them firmly within a specific cultural (and sometimes sociocultural) context. 3 While promoting the most rigorous traditions of classical European philology, culturologists also tend to espouse a poststructuralist skepticism of objectivity. Recognizing that all cultural activity, including scholarship, entails subjective and evaluative processes, many culturologists feel justified in allowing their work to express their advocacy of various cultural policies, such as tolerance of diversity or reverence for religious traditions.
In the mid-eighties he became the critic-champion of what he calls the first "whole generation of poets" to coalesce in Russia since the 1960s. He wrote ardently and often about the conceptualist poets, attempting to explain to readers the theoretical and aesthetic significance of verse that seemed trivial yet shocking to some, offensive and blasphemous to others. At a time when Russian traditionalists were gathering public support for the preservation of churches and other monuments of the past, Epstein came out in favor of experimentation and the creation of new monuments, worthy of preservation for the future.
He suggests, for example, that the interdisciplinary approach of cultural studies has the potential to foster hitherto unsuspected interconnections among the traditional disciplines. " Here again is a schematic expression of the apophatic procedure whereby a sum of nonidentities helps to describe an elusive phenomenon. As Dionysius the Areopagite allowed a hint of the divine to resonate in the empty space between God's negative attributes, so does a sense of something universal emerge from the potential space that Epstein calls transculture.
After the future: the paradoxes of postmodernism and contemporary Russian culture by Mikhail N. Epstein