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Durham University

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Publication details for Prof Mikhail Epstein

Epstein, Mikhail (1995). After the Future: The Paradoxes of Postmodernism and Contemporary Russian Culture. Amherst, USA: University of Massachusetts Press.

Author(s) from Durham

Abstract

This book brings together for the first time in English the major writings of Mikhail Epstein, one of post-Soviet Russia's most prominent theoreticians of cultural studies and postmodernism. Written from a non-Western point of view yet informed by a familiarity with Western literary theory, it offers a fresh, lucid perspective on the postcommunist literary scene as well as a practical and theoretical introduction to the new discipline of Russian "culturology." After the Future is also the first book to incorporate the development of contemporary Russian culture within the framework of postmodernism, a concept whose application has been previously limited to the West.

The four sections of the book - Literature, Ideology, Culture, and Methodology - reflect the interdisciplinary range of postmodernism in contemporary Russia. Epstein explores such influential new tendencies in Russian literature as conceptualism, metarealism, "rear-garde" and discusses the formation of a post-Marxist ideological milieu characterized by a paradoxical mixture of relativistic and totalitarian patterns.