By Mikhail N. Epstein
This e-book brings jointly for the 1st time in English the foremost writings of Mikhail Epstein, considered one of post-Soviet Russia's so much famous theoreticians of cultural experiences and postmodernism. Written from a non-Western standpoint but knowledgeable by means of a familiarity with Western literary idea, it bargains a clean, lucid standpoint at the postcommunist literary scene in addition to a realistic and theoretical advent to the recent self-discipline of Russian "culturology." After the longer term can also be the 1st booklet to include the improvement of latest Russian tradition in the framework of postmodernism, an idea whose software has been formerly constrained to the West.
The 4 sections of the ebook - Literature, Ideology, tradition, and method - replicate the interdisciplinary variety of postmodernism in modern Russia. Epstein explores such influential new developments in Russian literature as conceptualism, metarealism, "rear-garde" and discusses the formation of a post-Marxist ideological milieu characterised through 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
In other words, the future of this fruit turns out to be in the past. Later Russian thinkers expressed a similar idea: "Russia's fate is one of needless ventures based on being born soon and soon collapsing" (Prince M. Shcherbatov); "We grow but don't ripen" (Petr Chaadaev); "We were born well, but grew up very little" (Vasily Rozanov). 1 If the past corresponds to youth, the present to maturity, and the future to old age, then Russia is at once a young and an old country, that managed to bypass maturity unnoticed.
Thus, we do observe a process of succession, but I describe it as such only to show more clearly the striking shifts and ruptures manifest within this very process. It is these changes that radically distinguish the end of the poetic century from the middle years; precisely for that reason, the end becomes a link to the beginning. A Time of Ripening For quite some time, almost since the end of the 1960s, criticism has been searching our poetry for a new generation, has awaited and summoned it. But it did not appear.
Epstein calls culturology an "egalitarian science," because it generates knowledge of these alternatives as equally valid creative solutions to the problem of organizing human life; it records the range of their variability. He introduces another concept to account for the ideal of cultural wholeness. Transculture, described as "a multidimensional space that appears gradually over the course of historical time," is a notion that lays claim to both material and ideal embodiments in the real world, according to Epstein's system of thought.