Russian Intellectual Culture in Transition

The Future in the Past

By Alexei Elfimov

This book offers a critical perspective on the character of academic and broader intellectual discourses in post-perestroika Russia. It focuses on the distinctive paradigm in intellectual worldviews - new historical paradigm, as the author calls it - that found its quintessential expression in the rhetoric of "cultural restoration", or "cultural revival". The pervasiveness of this rhetoric, the manner in which it captured intellectual imagination, and the array of cultural effects it produced in various spheres of society are described in this work. The impact of the rhetoric on the area of humanities and social sciences is given special attention. The book explores the phenomena and processes that led to the formation of the new historical paradigm in the intellectual consciousness: the specificity of intellectual traditions in nineteenth-century Russia, the social place of intelligentsia in the Soviet Union, and the transformations in its social status after perestroika. It examines the ideological implications of this paradigm, its connection to the split between Slavophiles and Westernizers in new Russia, and its peculiar effects on social policies and on the shaping of intellectual identities. Many curious details on contemporary Russian culture - intelligentsia's ideals and cultural habits, language peculiarities, and others - will await the reader in this account.


216 pages

Publication Date: 1/20/2004
Format: Paper
ISBN: 9783825868208