Monument or instrument?

Nikolay Poselyagin, Polina Barskova, Boris Gasparov, Sergey Zenkin, Michael Kunichika, Yuri Leving, Mark Lipovetsky, Basil Lvoff, Galina Orlova, Irina Sandomirskaja, Serguei Alex Oushakine

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


    In the rubric "The Book as an Event," the three-volume publication The Formal Method: An Anthology of Rus sian Modernism, edited by Serguei Alex. Oushakine, is discussed. It is built upon not only the style traditional for the humanities in Russia, as a canonical and canoni zing selection of "classical" authors and texts, but also it is a kind of a overview of the intellectual evolution of a number of figures of Russian formalism and the Rus sian avant-garde, reflected in their own articles and manifestos. This overview demonstrates the great com plexity, unpredictability, and internal contradictions of each of these evolutions. But in addition to this, the anthology also has another, even more important task: it tries to update the complex and still inadequately reflected theoretical legacy that remains from supporters of the formal method. The ways such reactualization takes places and what intellectual challenges the contemporary reader will face when undertaking the antho logy is discussed by participants in this rubric: Polina Barskova, Boris Gasparov, Michael Kunichika, Yuri Le ving, Mark Lipovetsky, Basil Lvoff, Galina Orlova, Irina Sandomirskaja and Sergey Zenkin. The materials of this discussion show that Oushakine's project is capable of giving rise to many different, sometimes even practically contradictionary interpretations, and that the reactuali zation of formalism today is in and of itself an extremely complex challenge for the humanities.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    JournalNovoe Literaturnoe Obozrenie
    Issue number3
    StatePublished - 2019

    All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

    • Cultural Studies
    • Literature and Literary Theory


    • Constructivist art
    • Formal method
    • OPOJAZ
    • Rus sian avantgarde
    • Russian Formalism
    • Russian Futurism
    • Russian modernism


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