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In Search of Russian Modernism

Leonid Livak

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A critical reexamination of Russian modernist cultural historiography.

Winner of the Aldo and Jeanne Scaglione Prize for Studies in Slavic Languages and Literatures by the Modern Language Association

The writing and teaching of Russian literary and cultural history have changed little since the 1980s. In Search of Russian Modernism challenges the basic premises of Russian modernist studies, removing the aura of certainty surrounding the analytical tools at our disposal and suggesting audacious alternatives to the conventional ways of thinking and speaking about Russian and transnational…

A critical reexamination of Russian modernist cultural historiography.

Winner of the Aldo and Jeanne Scaglione Prize for Studies in Slavic Languages and Literatures by the Modern Language Association

The writing and teaching of Russian literary and cultural history have changed little since the 1980s. In Search of Russian Modernism challenges the basic premises of Russian modernist studies, removing the aura of certainty surrounding the analytical tools at our disposal and suggesting audacious alternatives to the conventional ways of thinking and speaking about Russian and transnational modernism.

Drawing on methodological breakthroughs in Anglo-American new modernist studies, Leonid Livak explores Russian and transnational modernism as a story of a self-identified and self-conscious interpretive community that bestows a range of meanings on human experience. Livak's approach opens modernist studies to integrative and interdisciplinary analysis, including the extension of scholarly inquiry beyond traditional artistic media in order to account for modernism's socioeconomic and institutional history.

Writing with a student audience in mind, Livak presents Russian modernism as a minority culture coexisting with other cultural formations while addressing thorny issues that regularly come up when discussing modernist artifacts. Aiming to open an overdue debate about the academic fields of Russian and transnational modernist studies, this book is also intended for an audience of scholars in comparative literary and cultural studies, specialists in Russian and transnational modernism, and researchers engaged with European cultural historiography.

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In Search of Russian Modernism

Leonid Livak

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Reviews

Reviews

Livak's book, written in a lively and engaging tone, will be a powerful intervention in an important field that is in need of reinvigoration. Each chapter represents a fresh argument. Livak boldly contests long-established prejudices while building impressively on his previous work on Russian emigration.

Livak’s book is a thorough revision of conceptual frameworks that informed the study of Russian literary modernism for decades. By exposing deficiencies of terminological apparatus, chronology, and dominant visions of modernism’s interaction with contemporaneous ideological and aesthetic systems, Livak’s study productively remaps Russian modernism as a subject of scholarly investigation.

Leonid Livak’s book accomplishes two important tasks: it maps the variegated and factionalized world of Russian modernism at home and abroad and, with the concept of 'communities of modernist culture,' it offers a compelling way to overcome the methodological impasse that has bedeviled modernist studies for generations. A double victory.

About

Book Details

Publication Date
Status
Available
Trim Size
6
x
9
Pages
392
ISBN
9781421426419
Illustration Description
2 b&w illus.
Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Note on Translation and Transliteration

Introduction. Modernism as a Culture
Chapter 1. The Toponymical Labyrinth of Russian Modernist Culture
Chapter 2. The Errant Compass Rose of

Acknowledgments
Note on Translation and Transliteration

Introduction. Modernism as a Culture
Chapter 1. The Toponymical Labyrinth of Russian Modernist Culture
Chapter 2. The Errant Compass Rose of Russian Modernist Studies
Chapter 3. Russian Modernism in Time and Space
Chapter 4. Navigating Russia’s Cultures of Modernity
Chapter 5. Russian Modernism in the Cultural Market
Conclusion

Notes
Bibliography
Index

Author Bio
Featured Contributor

Leonid Livak

Leonid Livak is a professor in the University of Toronto’s Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures and the Anne Tannenbaum Centre for Jewish Studies. He is the author of How It Was Done in Paris: Russian Émigré Literature and French Modernism, The Jewish Persona in the European Imagination: A Case of Russian Literature, and Russian Émigrés in the Intellectual and Literary Life of Interwar...