By Mikhail N. Epstein
This ebook brings jointly for the 1st time in English the most important writings of Mikhail Epstein, certainly one of post-Soviet Russia's so much well-liked theoreticians of cultural experiences and postmodernism. Written from a non-Western perspective but knowledgeable via a familiarity with Western literary concept, it deals a clean, lucid standpoint 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 publication 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 publication - Literature, Ideology, tradition, and method - replicate the interdisciplinary diversity 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 by way of a paradoxical mix of relativistic and totalitarian patterns.
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Additional resources for After the future: the paradoxes of postmodernism and contemporary Russian culture
Culturology and Transculture Epstein proposes continualism as a metamethodology for interconnecting the humanitarian disciplines and unifying their intellectual missions under the rubric of culturology. " This ideal is seen as providing the integrating matrix within which isolated parts congeal by extending their arenas of self-consciousness to incorporate one another into a collective entity. Furthermore, Epstein believes thatnot unlike essayism in writingthis integrative cultural self-consciousness can serve as a prophylactic against the monomania of totalitarianism and the schizophrenia of atomized individualism.
Epstein gives this "metamethodology" the name continualism because it is premised on the notion of an indivisible continuum of existence that intellectual culture strives to comprehend. Rather than dividing reality into discrete elements and defining fields of inquiry as restricted territories of narrow specialization, continualism would encourage scholars to focus on the contributions their areas could make to other fields. Without abolishing the depth of expertise necessary to each given discipline, such an approach would focus on broad questions demanding multiple perspectives, so that, in the apophatic manner, each could contribute a segment of the outline within which reality might manifest increasingly comprehensible attributes.
Similarly, Russian religious consciousness recognized the existence of heaven and hell, but not of purgatory. " According to Lotman and Page xiii Uspensky's dualistic model, Russian culture operates not by equalizing and mediating oppositions, but through their diametrical reversal. 3 Recent examples affirm this. What was perceived as the future only yesterdaythe classless society of communismsuddenly, without ever becoming the present, is already the past that one wants to be rid of as quickly as possible, like a burdensome and outdated legacy.
After the future: the paradoxes of postmodernism and contemporary Russian culture by Mikhail N. Epstein