“Everyone Reads the Text That’s in Their Own Head”: An Interview with Linor Goralik



I’ve really lucked out in that I really consider myself to be a private individual, I don’t feel the need to look for a relationship to the Russian literary canon, in any real sense. I just don’t have that emotional sense of continuity inside, that emotional thread that would say “Here I am!” and tie me to my place in the Russian canon. For better or worse.

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Reinventing the Soviet Past: Actor Pavel Derevyanko’s “Positive Heroes”



In the series “Dark Side of the Moon” (2011-) and in the film “Salyut-7” (2017), historical and biographical truth take a backseat to the aesthetic and ideological needs of the present. What matters more are the hero’s personal values: Derevyanko, in both the film and the TV series, plays a man who understands Soviet values, puts country and duty above personal desires, and does not waver in the face of the impossible.

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Linor Goralik: “She Said, He Said”



Like, here, I had this parrot, and you know, they live a long time. Well, he died, like, he was sitting on my shoulder and all of a sudden I thought he’d flown off, but then I felt his claws on my back—he’d fallen backwards. Well, I even, you know, I even cried. He lived a long time. So I couldn’t throw him out, I put him in a plastic box and buried him at my dacha.

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Formalism and the Future (Part I)



In the field of Russian literary studies, there has been a recent move towards reviving turn of the century Russian literary theoretical approaches – specifically that of Yuri Tynianov’s formalist predecessor Alexander Veselovsky, whose “historical poetics” approach is currently experiencing something of a renaissance.

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On Cumulative Ideology



This past June — a moment since blotted out by geopolitical horrors large and small — Vladimir Putin sat down with NBC’s Megyn Kelly for an interview subsequently lambasted as boring, “stubbornly uninformative theater.” It’s true that neither party said anything unexpected, instead treating viewers to another episode of “Dogged Journalist Confronts Icy, Obfuscating Politician.” Yet the conversation’s very lack of narrative drive offers insight into the heart of Putin’s messaging strategy — and into the fundamentally cumulative nature of contemporary political ideology.

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The Leviathan and the Gutter: Gefter.ru interviews NYU’s Mikhail Iampolski (Part II)



It’s all very sad, I think. The capacity for thought has already disappeared, and now dignity is gradually being snuffed out, but I don’t see any solutions. People still depend on these vestiges of government. And the government is acting like a depraved medieval lord rather than a modern, institutionalized structure. When libraries are forced to pull books from their shelves — for example, Russian classics published by the Soros Foundation — what can it mean?

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