Review: Boris Gasparov, et al, eds. «Cultural Mythologies of Russian Modernism»
Cultural Mythologies of Russian Modernism: From the Golden Age to the Silver Age. Edited by Boris Gasparov, Robert P. Hughes, and Irina Paperno. California Slavic Studies, vol. 15. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1992. 494 pp.
The twenty-three essays in this volume are the product of a conference held at the University of California, Berkeley in May of 1987 to commemorate the one hundred fiftieth anniversary of Pushkin's death. The focus and underlying assumptions of this conference, however, were quite different than those of other conferences held to commemorate the Pushkin jubilee, and consequently the papers themselves are quite different. Rather than focusing on specific problems of Pushkin studies or different approaches to Pushkin, as was the case for example at the conference held the same year at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (the papers from teh Madison conference have been published by Indiana University Press), these essays celebrate tehnotion of "cultural return" and are based on two assumptions: 1) that there are deep affinities between the Golden and Silver Ages of Russian literature; and 2) that the Pushkin myth occupies a central place in the Modernist culture of the Silver Age. In fact, as one of teh participants, Monika Greenleaf, noted, the time frame of teh period virtually coincides, at a century's distance, with the dates of Pushkin's own life.