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Sincerity After CommunismA Cultural History$
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Ellen Rutten

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780300213980

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300213980.001.0001

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Introduction: Sincerity, Memory, Marketing, Media

Introduction: Sincerity, Memory, Marketing, Media

(p.1) Introduction: Sincerity, Memory, Marketing, Media
Sincerity After Communism

Ellen Rutten

Yale University Press

This book examines present-day sincerity rhetoric and its global outlines by focusing on Russia, a country that has historically maintained an excessive interest in the concept of sincerity. Over the past few years, the phrase novaia iskrennost'—the Russian equivalent of “new sincerity”—has been used by bloggers, politicians, and cultural critics to explain nostalgia for the Soviet era, Vladimir Putin's media policy, and the Russian interventions in Ukraine. Internationally renowned artist Oleg Kulik, for example, places a “new sincerity” at the heart of a new phase in contemporary Russian art and praises it in the work of Alla Esipovich, among others. Using the analytical perspective of a cultural historian, this book argues that in today's Russia, debates on sincerity and its inevitable contemporary twin, postmodernism, are always and inevitably debates on sincerity after Communism. It focuses on one social stratum within Russian society, cultural workers or creative professionals, with special attention to those working in the fields of Russian new media, cultural criticism, and literature.

Keywords:   sincerity rhetoric, Russia, novaia iskrennost', new sincerity, postmodernism, Communism, cultural workers, creative professionals, new media, cultural criticism

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