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Russia’s New Fin de Siècle
Contemporary Culture between Past and Present
Now Available
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ISBN 9781841507309
Paperback 200 pages
Published July 2013
Imprint: Intellect

Edited by Birgit Beumers
Chapter Titles     |      Reviews     |      Comments

This volume investigates Russian culture at the turn of the twenty-first century, with scholars from Britain, Sweden, Russia and the United States exploring aspects of culture with regards to one overarching question: What is the impact of the Soviet discourse on contemporary culture? This question comes at a time when Russia is concerned with integrating itself into European arts and culture while enhancing its uniqueness through references to its Soviet past. Thus, contributions investigate the phenomenon of post-Soviet culture and try to define the relationship of contemporary art to the past.

To read the full review in Choice click here to download the pdf.

Chapter titles
Russia’s New fin de siècle: Contemporary Culture between Past and Present
Chapter 1: The Function of the Soviet Experience in Post-Soviet Discourse
Maria Litovskaya
Chapter 2: Cycles, Continuity and Change in Contemporary Russian Culture
Mark Lipovetsky
Chapter 3: Victor Pelevin and the Void
Meghan Vicks
Chapter 4: From Homo Zapiens to Media Sapiens: Post-Soviet Television in Russian Fiction
Andrei Rogatchevski
Chapter 5: Afrika and Monroe – Post-Soviet Appropriation, East and West
Amy Bryzgel
Chapter 6: Military Dandyism, Cosmism and Eurasian Imper-Art
Maria Engström
Chapter 7: Sweet Dreams: Retro Imagery on Chocolate Packaging in Post-Soviet Russia
Bettina Jungen
Chapter 8: Victory Day: Rituals and Practices of War Commemoration in Russia
Nataliya Danilova
Chapter 9: A Kiss for the KGB: Putin as Cinematic Hero
Stephen M. Norris
Chapter 10: ‘Address Your Questions to Dostoevsky’: Privatizing Punishment in Russian Cinema
Serguei Alex. Oushakine
Chapter 11: Freedom and Uncertainty: The Cinema of Slava Tsukerman
Peter Rollberg
Chapter 12: Muratova’s Cinema before and after Perestroika: Deconstructing and Rebuilding Film Aesthetics
Eugénie Zvonkine
Chapter 13: The Place of Action Must Not be Changed: Aleksei Balabanov’s St Petersburg
Birgit Beumers
'Writers and filmmakers attempt not to revive the past but instead to open up new spaces for interpreting the past through the present. Summing Up: Recommended.' – Choice, A. J DeBlasio

'Beumers’s is the first coherent multidisciplinary volume that looks at post-Soviet cultural production at the turn of the twenty-first century... Beumers’s volume, its time frame is confined to the wild-west capitalist 1990s under President Boris Yeltsin. Since then Russian society has undergone many changes, and Beumers’s collection successfully updates the content of her predecessor’s work.' – Larissa Rudova, The European Legacy

'The notion of Russian fin de siècle has a special place in academic discourse, relating primarily to the culture of the Silver Age. This volume edited by Birgit Beumers has decidedly reclaimed the term to define Russian cultural production at the turn of the twenty-first century. In the Introduction, Beumers draws similarities between the two epochs — the sense of crisis and trauma laced by the colourings of pessimism, decadence, degeneration and decay. The book’s ambition is to begin to reflect on the fluid post-Soviet period as a yet another fin de siècle by examining a ‘paradoxical and ambivalent relationship’ (p. 3) of its artistic production with the Soviet past, and to ascertain ‘the impact of the Soviet discourse on contemporary Russian culture’ (p. 6).' – L. Ryazanova-Clarke, Slavonic and East European Review

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