What is to be done with the socialist realist canon: Nikolai Chernyshevskii in late and post-Soviet cultural imagination

Margarita Vaysman

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Abstract

Nikolai Chernyshevskii (1828-1889), a major nineteenth-century writer and thinker, continues to play in important role in contemporary Russian culture as a subject of artistic performances and political discussions. This article argues that the current regenerative engagement with Chernyshevskii’s legacy was preceded by another period of intense fascination with the writer and his work, specifically in late Soviet conceptualist art. It examines representations of Chernyshevskii in different media created in the period from 1980 to 1991: sots-art paintings by Vitalii Komar and Aleksandr Melamid, essays and performances by Moscow Conceptualists like Dmitrii Prigov and ‘proto-postmodernist’ early texts of Viktor Pelevin.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)268-294
Number of pages27
JournalSlavonic and East European Review
Volume100
Issue number2
Early online date31 Oct 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 3 Nov 2022

Keywords

  • Post-soviet
  • Conceptualism
  • Realism
  • Socialist-realism
  • Sots-art
  • Prigov
  • Pelevin
  • Komar and Melamid

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