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Hotel Bukovyna, Rebecca Ann Bosshart Aug 2014

Hotel Bukovyna, Rebecca Ann Bosshart

UNLV Theses, Dissertations, Professional Papers, and Capstones

This collection of short stories and first chapter of a novella take place in the historical area of Bukovyna, the beech tree land, partly located in Chernivetska region, western Ukraine. On the edge of it, or under it, or traveling to and from it, in contemporary time. I've been occupied with "the outsider," represented here, and where the seven stories reside, by the giant grande dame tourist hotel on Main Street, across from Shevchenko Park, in Chernivtsi, the region's city center. The occupants: the outsider looking in and around. Outsiders looking at other outsiders. An outsider being welcomed ...


Historical Culture: Russia In Search Of Itself, Boris Paramonov Jan 2012

Historical Culture: Russia In Search Of Itself, Boris Paramonov

Russian Culture

Russia's 75 year-long experiment with communism is over, but the question persists as to whether the Soviet regime was a historical aberration or an expression of the country's destiny. This question is as old as the Bolshevik revolution. It has produced a voluminous literature and will no doubt continue to attract attention in the near future. Alas, it can not be answered conclusively, for it is grounded in the questioner's ideological a priori and tells us more about the historian's biases than about Russian history.


Moral Culture: Public Morality And Private Responsibility, Igor Kon Jan 2012

Moral Culture: Public Morality And Private Responsibility, Igor Kon

Russian Culture

When Mikhail Gorbachev unfurled his reform banners in the late 1980's, many observers inside and outside Russia hailed perestroika as a moral renaissance. The Soviet Union was indeed a spiritually bankrupt society at the time, its citizens demanding a clean break with the past and yearning for a better future. Despite the new openness or glasnost, the changes have been slow in coming and often very controversial. A public opinion survey conducted in February 1991 showed the country morally adrift and deeply divided about the course of reforms.


Psychological Culture: Ambivalence And Resistance To Social Change, Alexander Etkind Jan 2012

Psychological Culture: Ambivalence And Resistance To Social Change, Alexander Etkind

Russian Culture

"National character," "modal personality," "collective unconscious," "ethnic mentality," "cultural identity" -- these and similar notions are designed to capture psychological traits that distinguish one social group from another. Attempts to isolate such hypothetical qualities are not different in principle from efforts to describe religious, legal, or other social patterns found among people who have lived together for a length of time, except that psychological constructs tend to focus on subjective characteristics and are somewhat harder to identify. For the first time, the link between culture and psychology came under close scrutiny in the nineteen century. German linguists Steinthal and Lazarus and ...


Civic Culture: Public Opinion And The Resurgence Of Civic Culture, Yuri Levada Jan 2012

Civic Culture: Public Opinion And The Resurgence Of Civic Culture, Yuri Levada

Russian Culture

There has hardly been a stretch in Russian history more saturated with sweeping changes than the period between 1988-1993. Packed into this exceedingly brief historical era are the rise of "perestroika" and the fall of its illustrious leader, Mikhail Gorbachev; the collapse of the Soviet Union and the emergence in its place of 15 independent states; the August '91 communist putsch and the democrats' triumphant ascension to power; the proliferation of virulent ethnic conflicts and the recognition of the abiding need for cooperation; the bloody October '93 confrontation between the executive and legislative powers and the surprising strength that the ...


Religious Culture: Faith In Soviet And Post-Soviet Russia, Jerry Pankhurst Jan 2012

Religious Culture: Faith In Soviet And Post-Soviet Russia, Jerry Pankhurst

Russian Culture

The former Soviet Union is undergoing a religious revival. People inside and outside the Russian Orthodox church are reexamining its ancient ways, rediscovering its long-forgotten saints, searching its institutional memory for answers to urgent questions facing the nation. The Western reaction to this remarkable resurgence of religion in Russia has been mixed. All observers welcome the fact that free inquiry about religion and free religious worship have been restored in the Russian Federation. At the same time, many are concerned about the xenophobic tendencies that have accompanied the religious revival in Russia and that became especially evident after the liberal ...


Soviet Everyday Culture: An Oxymoron?, Svetlana Boym Jan 2012

Soviet Everyday Culture: An Oxymoron?, Svetlana Boym

Russian Culture

Mikhail Mishin, a Soviet satirist, wrote that Russians recognize themselves in the famous fairy-tale character Ivan the Fool. He bides his time napping on the heated furnace and gets up only to undertake major heroic feats. Ivan the Fool might be a great hero, but he has no idea how to survive his everyday life. Everyday life, captured in the Russian word byt, is a more dangerous enemy to him than the multi-headed fire-spitting dragon. The everyday is Russia 's cultural monster. The nation might worship its heroes and their fabled ability to withstand hell or high water, but it ...


Popular Culture: Russian Folklore And Mores, Zara Abdullaeva Jan 2012

Popular Culture: Russian Folklore And Mores, Zara Abdullaeva

Russian Culture

The heroine of Thomas Mann's "The Magic Mountain," a Russian woman named Shosha, explains to Hans Kastorz, a German, what Russians mean by morals: "Morality? Do you want to know about morality? Well, we believe that morality is not to be found in virtue, that is, not in reason, discipline, good manners, or honesty; quite to the contrary, we find it in sinfulness, in danger to which one exposes oneself and evil which could devour us. We believe it is morally loftier to perish, to drive oneself into the ground, than to save one's soul. . . ."


Literary Culture: "New Soviet Man" In The Mirror Of Literature, Maurice Friedberg Jan 2012

Literary Culture: "New Soviet Man" In The Mirror Of Literature, Maurice Friedberg

Russian Culture

The roots of Soviet literary culture extend beyond the establishment of the Soviet state itself. Maxim Gorky's Mother written, ironically, some years before the Bolshevik Revolution in the United States (the country, it might be noted, that also contributed to the cause of the tradition of May Day observances) is one hallmark of that culture avant la lettre. Nikolai Chernyshevsky's What Is to Be Done, a novel often cited in Communist hagiographies as the inspiration of generations of nineteenth-century Russian revolutionaries (including, significantly, the founder of Soviet state himself, as well as his martyred brother) is another. And ...


Artistic Culture: The Trial By Freedom, Daniil Dondurei Jan 2012

Artistic Culture: The Trial By Freedom, Daniil Dondurei

Russian Culture

"The poet in Russia is more than just a poet." This line from Evgeny Yevtushenko's verse hints at the unique place that artistic culture has occupied in Russia 's tragic history. From Radishchev and Tolstoy to Solzhenitsyn and Tarkovsky, writers, painters, film makers -- cultural producers of every kind -- undertook to explain Russian society to itself. The common view that depicts Soviet art as subservient to ideology is well grounded in facts, but it tends to conceal as much as it reveals. Soviet artists served the state, and thus could not help but being influenced by the nation's poisonous ...


Labor Culture: Labor Morality Under Socialism, Vladimir Magun Jan 2012

Labor Culture: Labor Morality Under Socialism, Vladimir Magun

Russian Culture

Soviet leaders had always taken a keen interest in workers' behavior and labor motives and sought to keep labor morality under strict state control. A complex network of values and regulations was developed for this purpose after the October Revolution of 1917. They were best articulated in the "political economy of socialism" which purported to present a scientific picture of the country's economic life. Textbooks on socialist economy were widely circulated in the Soviet Union and appropriate courses included into a core curriculum for all higher education institutions in the country. Basic tenets of socialist political economy were taught ...


Russian Spirituality And The Theology Of Negation, Mikhail Epstein Jan 2012

Russian Spirituality And The Theology Of Negation, Mikhail Epstein

Russian Culture

Toward the end of the twentieth century Russian culture found itself at a crossroads which cannot be ascribed to any political election but which rather presupposed a radical change in its religious and social orientation. Two somewhat opposing theses will be developed in this article. First I will discuss the processes of secularization in Russian culture and the necessity of a third, neutral zone between the "sacred" and the "profane." Next, the dangers of social neutralization in culture and the necessity of retaining elements of the dual model along with the introduction of intermediate elements will be presented. We will ...


The Intelligentsia Without Revolution: The Culture Of The Silver Age, Andrei Ariev Jan 2012

The Intelligentsia Without Revolution: The Culture Of The Silver Age, Andrei Ariev

Russian Culture

The most effective definition of "the intelligentsia" might read: “Russian intellectuals who are generally opposed to the government.” But even Russia’s traditionally powerful government has collapsed at times, leaving a vacuum of authority. This was precisely the historical situation at the beginning of the twentieth century. It made an indelible impression both upon thinkers, such as Rozanov, and on politicians, such as Lenin.


The Survival Of Art And The Art Of Survival In Stalin's Russia, Marietta Chudakova Jan 2012

The Survival Of Art And The Art Of Survival In Stalin's Russia, Marietta Chudakova

Russian Culture

There are several questions that should be posed before one begins the study of 20th century Russian literature, to prevent such an undertaking from becoming merely a series of witty observations. The first of these questions is where do the boundaries of 20th century literature lie, not in the order of books on a bookshelf, but as objects of academic study? The second is how unified was the the literary process, which is the primary focus of the literary historian? In modern academic and near-academic discourse two approaches exist to answering these questions.


The Art Of Criticism? Criticism As Art!, Natalia Ivanova Jan 2012

The Art Of Criticism? Criticism As Art!, Natalia Ivanova

Russian Culture

The study of Russian-Soviet and post-Soviet literary criticism in the second half of the twentieth century (henceforth denoted in the text as RLC) has been largely based on the chronological principle.

By way of introduction, I will begin with a brief overview of the RLC phenomenon-its origins, fundamental characteristics, and processes of change.


Rethinking The Canon: Nonconformist Soviet Classics In Post-Soviet Perspective, Alexander Zholkovsky Jan 2012

Rethinking The Canon: Nonconformist Soviet Classics In Post-Soviet Perspective, Alexander Zholkovsky

Russian Culture

In the four-plus decades since Stalin's death, the Soviet literary canon has undergone a series of changes. Thus, Fedor Dostoyevsky, Konstantin Leontiev, and Apollon Grigoriev, seen in all their complexity, gradually resumed their pride of place in nineteenth-century literary history, while Gogol was allowed to be more of a conservative thinker and modernist stylist than during the period of High Stalinism. Twentieth-century literature welcomed back the early Vladimir Maiakovsky, then all of Aleksandr Blok (previously represented in the Soviet canon only by his The Twelve), and finally the entire Silver Age. The list of writers now rehabilitated, republished, and ...


Colonizing Chaos: Russian Literature At The End Of The Twentieth Century, Alexander Genis Jan 2012

Colonizing Chaos: Russian Literature At The End Of The Twentieth Century, Alexander Genis

Russian Culture

Culture sets the parameters of our reality, defines its boundaries, gives each of us a system of values and reference points and, most important, provides our subconscious with the materials necessary for an awareness of chaos and the universe, space and time, cause and effect. Beginning my essay with these broadest categories, I will attempt to sketch the coordinates of that landscape in which the stormy drama of post-Soviet literature is played out. This will be followed by an analysis of the literary situation in the period directly preceding our own. Coming next will be some brief sketches of nine ...


The Aesthetic Code Of Russian Postmodernism, Mark Lipovetsky Jan 2012

The Aesthetic Code Of Russian Postmodernism, Mark Lipovetsky

Russian Culture

Postmodernist discourse has become central to literary criticism in the 1990s. Unlike many other literary discourses, it was never formally announced, yet beginning in the late 1980s (with Mikhail Epstein’s articles) it took over almost all literary publications and effectively led to a new polarization of literary forces. If, during the first years of Perestroika, literary and cultural factions were divided primarily along political lines, with Western liberal sympathizers and anti-Communists on one side, and nationalist defenders of Communism on the other, then by the middle of the 1990s debate about postmodernism had split the liberals into those who ...


Russian Literature In The Christian Context, Boris Paramonov Jan 2012

Russian Literature In The Christian Context, Boris Paramonov

Russian Culture

In examining Russia’s cultural history one encounters an incontestable fact: the literary nature of its spirituality. At the same time, Russian literature is distinguished by its high caliber. If one examines Russia’s cultural significance in the context of the Western world, or generally attempts to evaluate the nation’s achievements on a Western European scale, one finds that Russian literature stands out with particular distinction. The West places Leo Tolstoy and Dostoyevsky on a par with Shakespeare, while Chekhov’s plays enjoy a popularity comparable with the Bard’s in the sheer number of theatrical performances, even in ...


The Russian Cinematic Culture, Oksana Bulgakova Jan 2012

The Russian Cinematic Culture, Oksana Bulgakova

Russian Culture

The cinema has always been subject to keen scrutiny by Russia's rulers. As early as the beginning of this century Russia's last czar, Nikolai Romanov, attempted to nationalize this new and, in his view, threatening medium: "I have always insisted that these cinema-booths are dangerous institutions. Any number of bandits could commit God knows what crimes there, yet they say the people go in droves to watch all kinds of rubbish; I don't know what to do about these places." The plan for a government monopoly over cinema, which would ensure control of production and consumption and ...


Russian Architecture Between Anorexia And Bulimia, Vladimir Paperny Jan 2012

Russian Architecture Between Anorexia And Bulimia, Vladimir Paperny

Russian Culture

The Russian visual sensibilities (if there is such thing) are formed by two contrasting influences. On the one hand, there is a natural attraction to decorative surfaces, to richness of colors and shapes. Historians tell us that in the 10 th century Prince Vladimir decided to convert to Christianity mainly because of the visual experience his emissaries had had in Constantinople: “The Greeks led us to the building where they worship their God,” they wrote to the Prince, “and we knew not whether we were in heaven or on earth. For on earth there is no such splendor or such ...


Russian Art In The Second Half Of The Twentieth Century, Ekaterina Dyogot Jan 2012

Russian Art In The Second Half Of The Twentieth Century, Ekaterina Dyogot

Russian Culture

This essay concerns Russian art in the second half of the twentieth century, yet any such description requires constant reference to the Russian avant-garde and the Soviet art system. The country's isolation made Soviet art such a specific, aesthetic, and particularly institutional phenomenon that it becomes critical to any understanding of art in the post-Stalinist period.


Introduction: Continuity And Change In Russian Culture, Dmitri N. Shalin Jan 2012

Introduction: Continuity And Change In Russian Culture, Dmitri N. Shalin

Russian Culture

This project on Russian culture goes back to the Spring of 1990 when several American and Russian scholars converged at the Russian Research Center at Harvard University and decided to join forces in a study of changes sweeping the Soviet Union. From the start, the participants agreed that they would not try to chase fast breaking news from Russia -- a hopeless task given the pace of recent changes, but rather would focus on the continuity and change in Russian culture, on the long-term social forces that compel the Russian people to reexamine old ways and reevaluate old values.


Intellectual Culture: The End Of Russian Intelligentsia, Dmitri N. Shalin Jan 2012

Intellectual Culture: The End Of Russian Intelligentsia, Dmitri N. Shalin

Russian Culture

No group cheered louder for Soviet reform, had a bigger stake in perestroika, and suffered more in its aftermath than did the Russian intelligentsia. Today, nearly a decade after Mikhail Gorbachev unveiled his plan to reform Soviet society, the mood among Russian intellectuals is decidedly gloomy. "The intelligentsia has carried perestroika on its shoulders," laments Ury Shchekochikhin, "so why does it feel so forlorn, superfluous, forgotten"? G. Ivanitsky warns that the intellectual strata "has become so thin that in three or four years the current genocide against the intelligentsia would surely wipe it out." Andrey Bitov, one of the country ...


The Art Of Dissent: Parody, Travesty And Irony In Late Soviet Culture, Dmitri N. Shalin Jan 2012

The Art Of Dissent: Parody, Travesty And Irony In Late Soviet Culture, Dmitri N. Shalin

Russian Culture

Irony is the favorite tool of Russian postmodernists fighting discourse totalitarianism. They wield it like a crowbar to pry open in the simulacrum, to tear down the Potemkin portable villages built by forced discursive labor. Every new blow the ironist strikes against the official reality reaffirms his intonational freedom amidst the most coercive discourse. An ultimate weapon of the spiritual proletariat, irony proves to the intellectual that he is a subject rather than an object of discourse. Alas, ironic vigil takes its toll. The self busily disclaiming identity with itself loses track of what it really is. It knows not ...


Pauline Viardot's Russian Compositions, Amy Jo Hunsaker Dec 2010

Pauline Viardot's Russian Compositions, Amy Jo Hunsaker

UNLV Theses, Dissertations, Professional Papers, and Capstones

Pauline Viardot-Garcia (1821-1910), an internationally famed opera singer well known for her vocal dexterity and range, was an intelligent and sophisticated woman who circulated easily among the brightest stars of the nineteenth century. Viardot, who was fluent in five languages, composed over 100 songs and was one of the first Western Europeans to set Russian words to music. Many of her French, German, Spanish, and Italian songs were translated into Russian and published in St. Petersburg. Viardot’s interest in Russian music began early in her career, when she performed with the Imperial Opera in St. Petersburg from 1843 to ...