By Mikhail N. Epstein
This publication brings jointly for the 1st time in English the key writings of Mikhail Epstein, one in every of post-Soviet Russia's such a lot favorite theoreticians of cultural reviews and postmodernism. Written from a non-Western standpoint but trained by means of a familiarity with Western literary concept, it bargains a clean, lucid standpoint at the postcommunist literary scene in addition to a pragmatic and theoretical creation to the recent self-discipline of Russian "culturology." After the long run is additionally the 1st ebook 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 e-book - Literature, Ideology, tradition, and method - replicate the interdisciplinary variety of postmodernism in modern Russia. Epstein explores such influential new traits in Russian literature as conceptualism, metarealism, "rear-garde" and discusses the formation of a post-Marxist ideological milieu characterised via a paradoxical mix of relativistic and totalitarian patterns.
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Additional info for After the future: the paradoxes of postmodernism and contemporary Russian culture
He advanced the notion that culture itself is a laboratory in which intellectual research should enjoy perfect freedom. Thus, new cultural movements for the future should be initiated in a laboratory setting, as a proper place to mix together diverse, even seemingly incompatible substances, or, less metaphorically, people with the various types of consciousness appropriate to their diverse walks of life. Old habits, cultural stagnation, and the repression of honest interaction enforced by the political regime had tended to keep these representatives of Russian culture's multiple viewpoints isolated from one another.
Those paradoxes that have become so tragically acute in contemporary Russia constitute, in one way or another, the essence of cultural dynamics, in that any progressive movement turns out to be at once a modernization and an archaizationa leap into both the future and the past. "5 The birth of the new bears within it the traces of rebirth of the old, and however radical an innovation may be, just as deep are the archaic layers it resurrects. " Pirouettes of time, describing circles around a central axis of "the present"this is culture.
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. Mikhail Epstein (born in 1950) is a leading representative of the young generation of thinkers who developed the culturological orientation into a loosely affiliated movement that transformed the Russian intellectual scene during the perestroika.