One fall evening in 1880, Russian painter Ilya Repin welcomed an unexpected visitor to his home: Lev Tolstoy. The renowned realists talked for hours, and Tolstoy turned his critical eye to the sketches in Repin's studio. Tolstoy's criticisms would later prompt Repin to reflect on the question of creative expression and conclude that the path to artistic truth is relative, dependent on the mode and medium of representation. In this original study, Molly Brunson traces many such paths that converged to form the tradition of nineteenth-century Russian realism, a tradition that spanned almost half a century--from the youthful projects of the Natural School and the critical realism of the age of reform to the mature masterpieces of Tolstoy, Fyodor Dostoevsky, and the paintings of the Wanderers, Repin chief among them. By examining the classics of the tradition, Brunson explores the emergence of multiple realisms from the gaps, disruptions, and doubts that accompany the self-conscious project of representing reality. These manifestations of realism are united not by how they look or what they describe, but by their shared awareness of the fraught yet critical task of representation. By tracing the engagement of literature and painting with aesthetic debates on the sister arts, Brunson argues for a conceptualization of realism that transcends artistic media. Russian Realisms integrates the lesser-known tradition of Russian painting with the familiar masterpieces of Russia's great novelists, highlighting both the common ground in their struggles for artistic realism and their cultural autonomy and legitimacy. This erudite study will appeal to scholars interested in Russian literature and art, comparative literature, art history, and nineteenth-century realist movements.
Author: Matthew Cullerne Bown
Publisher: Skira - Berenice
Release Date: 2012
The development of Soviet realist painting over fifty years through a selection of works from Russias leading museums. Socialist Realism was and remains an exceptional phenomenon in twentieth century art. It bore the challenge of promoting realist figuration on a scale without parallel in the rest of the world, employing the talents of thousands of artists over decades and spreading over an immense and varied empire. By glorifying the social role of art, affirming the primary value of content as opposed to form and restoring the central role of traditional practices, socialist Realism was the declared opponent of the modern movement, and in fact represented the only completely alternative artistic system. Created by the great Russian artists (Deineka, Malevic, Adlivankin, Laktionov, Plastov, Brodskij, Korzhev) the works present a multiplicity of questions, themes and formal approaches to art spanning from the last phases of the civil war to the beginnings of the Brezhnev era, stopping at the early 1970s when trends in official Soviet art took on varied and inconsistent directions such that the cultural supremacy of the socialist-realist current faded definitively. A non-monolithic view emerges, in which the movement does not originate exclusively as the product of totalitarian control and political pressures but as an evolving organism that reflected internal issues and echoed the great historic events of the twentieth century.
Publisher: University of Toronto Press
Release Date: 2009
Genre: Literary Criticism
The culture of nineteenth-century Russia is often seen as dominated by realism in the arts, as exemplified by the novels of Leo Tolstoy and Ivan Turgenev, the paintings of 'the Wanderers,' and the historical operas of Modest Mussorgsky. Paradoxically, nineteenth-century Russia was also consumed with a passion for spiritualist activities such as table-rappings, seances of spirit communication, and materialization of the 'spirits.' Ghostly Paradoxes examines the surprising relationship between spiritualist beliefs and practices and the positivist mindset of the Russian Age of Realism (1850-80) to demonstrate the ways in which the two disparate movements influenced each other. Foregrounding the important role that nineteenth-century spiritualism played in the period's aesthetic, ideological, and epistemological debates, Ilya Vinitsky challenges literary scholars who have considered spiritualism to be archaic and peripheral to other cultural issues of the time. Ghostly Paradoxes is an innovative work of literary scholarship that traces the reactions of Russia's major realist authors to spiritualist events and doctrines and demonstrates that both movements can be understood only when examined together.
In Russian history, the twentieth century was an era of unprecedented, radical transformations - changes in social systems, political regimes, and economic structures. A number of distinctive literary schools emerged, each with their own voice, specific artistic character, and ideological background. As a single-volume compendium, the Companion provides a new perspective on Russian literary and cultural development, as it unifies both émigré literature and literature written in Russia. This volume concentrates on broad, complex, and diverse sources - from symbolism and revolutionary avant-garde writings to Stalinist, post-Stalinist, and post-Soviet prose, poetry, drama, and émigré literature, with forays into film, theatre, and literary policies, institutions and theories. The contributors present recent scholarship on historical and cultural contexts of twentieth-century literary development, and situate the most influential individual authors within these contexts, including Boris Pasternak, Alexander Solzhenitsyn, Joseph Brodsky, Osip Mandelstam, Mikhail Bulgakov and Anna Akhmatova.
This group of Russian painters, whose work is little known in the West, was the most remarkable in the history of Russian art. Founded in the mid-19th century, the Society for Itinerant Art Exhibitions (known as Peredvizhniki in Russian) consisted of a group of realist painters who decided that the best way for their work to be seen was to hold exhibitions in the Salon style of the French painters of the time, but in the form of travelling shows which moved around Russia. This helped to popularise the work of these painters, and of Russian art in general, and it helped them to sell their paintings and thus finance their work. The painters traveled with the exhibitions, recording the lives and customs of their fellow countrymen, and providing an insight into the life in Tsarist Russia, right up until the 1918 Revolution.
Russian literature has a reputation for gloomy texts, especially during the late nineteenth century. This volume argues that a 'fin-de-siècle' mood informed Russian literature long before the chronological end of the nineteenth century, in ways that had significant impact on the development of Russian realism. Some chapters consider ideas more readily associated with fin-de-siècle Europe such as degeneration theory, biodeterminism, Freudian psychoanalysis or apocalypticism, alongside earlier Russian realist texts by writers such as Turgenev, Dostoevsky or Tolstoy. Other chapters explore the changes that realism underwent as modernism emerged, examining later nineteenth-century or early twentieth-century texts in the context of the earlier realist tradition or their own cultural moment. Overall, a team of emerging and established scholars of Russian literature and culture present a wide range of creative and insightful readings that shed new light on later realism in all its manifestations.
Author: Erika Haber
Publisher: Lexington Books
Release Date: 2003-01-01
The Myth of the Non-Russian explores the magical realist prose of two non-Slavic authors writing in Russian in the Soviet Union in the 1970s-1980s. Erika Haber argues that these authors juxtaposed their native myth with Soviet myth, thus undermining the Soviet prescription of national conformity in art by suggesting a plurality of worlds and truths.
Author: Matthew Cullerne Bown
Release Date: 1998
After the Bolshevik revolution in 1917, the new government took control of Russian art, nationalizing art collections and laying down the principles that were to govern the creation of new art. Soviet Realism was the result. This book traces the style from its artistic and intellectual origins in 19th-century Russia to its decline at the end of the Soviet period. 184 color and 346 b&w illustrations.
America today faces a world more complicated than ever before, but our politicians have failed to envision a foreign policy that addresses our greatest threats. Ethical Realism shows how the United States can successfully combine genuine morality with tough and practical common sense. By outlining core principles and a set of concrete proposals for tackling the terrorist threat and contend with Iran, Russia, the Middle East, and China, Anatol Lieven and John Hulsman show us how to strengthen our security, pursue our national interests, and restore American leadership in the world. From the Trade Paperback edition.
Author: Robert Leach
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Release Date: 1999-11-29
Written by an international team of experts, this book brings together the fruits of recent research into all areas of Russian theatre history. Of particular interest are the chapters written by senior Russian academics, who not only reveal previously unpublished documentation but also offer alternative insights into their subjects. The History covers the whole range of Russian dramatic experience, from puppet theatre to ballet and grand opera, but its emphasis is on the practice of theatre, especially acting, and the final chapter puts Russian theatre into the wider context of Western performance and the stage. The History begins with the earliest endeavours, with rituals and entertainments, and moves through to the emergence of established drama in the eighteenth century. The history of twentieth-century Russian theatre is a special feature of the volume, with chapters following the progress of drama and performance from the revolution, through communism, up until recent years.