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Title:Retrospective Revolution: A History of Time and Memory in Urban Russia, 1903--1923
Author(s):Stroud, Gregory
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Steinberg, Mark D.
Department / Program:History
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):History, Russian and Soviet
Abstract:This dissertation argues that a large and diverse portion of the urban Russian public---Bolshevik and liberal, wealthy and impoverished---made sense together of such quintessentially modern phenomena as total war, revolution, industrialization, the decline of the aristocracy, consumerism and urban life, through the shared embrace of an extraordinary efflorescent nostalgia during the first decades of the twentieth century. For all the apparent din and spectacle of the new bourgeois and new proletarian city, it was rather the fate of the remembered, the decrepit, the antique and habitual which very often consumed urban residents, outweighing even daily-life necessities of politics and economics, eliding very real divisions of class and ideology. And what began at the turn of the century as a relatively narrow aesthetic intellectual movement anxious over the perceived modern loss of timeless beauty and value, was by the first years of the Great War a common boulevard conversation across class and ideology concerning the loss of childhood, ritual, authenticity and habit. The abject failure of the old regime to satisfactorily engage this conversation and to offer meaningful solutions would render such nostalgia into a bitingly transgressive critique of autocracy, mass consumerism, of private property and unfettered capitalism. Drawing from archival documents, the boulevard press, diaries, art and literature, my work challenges dominant interpretations of social fragmentation, future-gazing, and too-rationalist histories of work and want. My research suggests an influential and broadly shared nostalgic epistemology of the early twentieth-century Russian city which spanned the 1917 rupture and which played a significant role in shaping public feelings of modern loss.
Issue Date:2006
Description:194 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2006.
Other Identifier(s):(MiAaPQ)AAI3223726
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-25
Date Deposited:2006

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