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The Heritage of Totalitarian Aesthetics and Moscow Conceptualism

Authors
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서울대학교 지역종합연구소
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Disciplines
  • Design
  • Linguistics
  • Literature
  • Philosophy

Abstract

The diversity of Russian literature since "Glasnost" and the collapse of the Soviet Union shows that the dualistic cultural system and the system of criterion of Socialist Realism has finally broken up. But as the literary criticism of the "Glasnost" era is constantly anxious about the stagnation of Russian literature, it tends to regard such changes in literature as polarization. Such an aspect of evaluation not only shows nostalgia for the kind of literature which was bound together by strong centripetal force, but also firmly maintains the stand of mainstream literature - realistic literature affirmative of values. Thus would be a flexible expansion of the concept of Socialist Realism. Suggesting one possibility of “Substitutional Literature” for the oppositional structure of two divisions, namely, mainstream literature and non-mainstream literature, this essay will concentrate upon the literary consideration and effort of “Moscow Conceptualism”. First, a competitive will between art and power will be observed amongst the current flowing towards Avant-Garde and Socialist Realism, while still being cautious of the thoughtless reception of Western Post-Modernism in contemporary Russian literature. Second, in relation to the context stated above, the fact that Western Post-Modernistic literature thriving to protect the purity of art by means of a paradoxical viewpoint in an atmosphere of commercial culture is incapable of guaranteeing its genuineness in Russia"s state of society shall also be acknowledged. Third, literary effort to pursue the possibility of dialogic literature" in Bakhtin"s sense as an alternative for totalitarian culture shall be criticized for taking only a superficial view of the poison that totalitarianism has injected into Russia"s everyday life. Indicating the fallacy of sociological criticism, the discrepancy between a series of literary tendencies and the literary efforts of conceptualism will be revealed in an aesthetic (artistic linguistical) dimension. And therefore, the possibility of a new “3rd Zone” will be found in the “genuineness of conceptualistic literature” which rejects any kind of “distance-making” and reveals the totalitarian linguistic situation from within.

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