After the future: the paradoxes of postmodernism and by Mikhail N. Epstein

By Mikhail N. Epstein

This e-book brings jointly for the 1st time in English the key writings of Mikhail Epstein, one in all post-Soviet Russia's so much famous theoreticians of cultural reports and postmodernism. Written from a non-Western standpoint but educated through a familiarity with Western literary conception, it bargains a clean, lucid point of view at the postcommunist literary scene in addition to a realistic and theoretical creation to the hot self-discipline of Russian "culturology." After the longer term is usually the 1st e-book to include the advance of latest 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 - mirror the interdisciplinary variety 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 way of a paradoxical mix of relativistic and totalitarian patterns.

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Unity based on pluralistic values should be ... " Such an assertion clearly calls on scholars to broaden the scope of serious inquiry even as we advocate a cultural life worthy of a future in the new millennium. Page 17 PART I LITERATURE Page 19 Chapter 1 New Currents in Russian Poetry: Conceptualism, Metarealism, and Presentism As the century ends, we are amazed to find ourselves returning to its beginnings. The poetic currents that were formed in Russia at the beginning of the twentieth centurysymbolism, acmeism, futurismhave unexpectedly reemerged as a new poetic triad: metarealism, presentism, conceptualism.

Thus, in art, the movement from realism to symbolism, and further on to cubism, surrealism, and abstractionism, was not only a movement from the nineteenth century into the twentieth, but at the same time a movement from the nineteenth century into the world of medieval icons, of ancient Egyptian and Chinese hieroglyphics, of primeval cave paintings. In philosophy, the movement from Kant to Hegel and further on to Nietzsche and Heidegger was at the same time a movement from Cartesian rationalism to Platonic idealism and beyond to the pre-Socratics.

Unfortunately, in considering the creative work of young poets, our criticism is often inclined to restrict itself to didactic tasks of pointing out what is good and what is bad in their poems, making assessments in relation to some normative standard. Meanwhile, the young poetryif it has emerged from the apprenticeship of versification to be worthy of that nameis primarily a new poetry, whose youth is determined not only by the ages of its authors, but by its creative freshness, its position at the forefront of litera- Page 21 ture.

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