Izvestiya of Saratov University.

Philology. Journalism

ISSN 1817-7115 (Print)
ISSN 2541-898X (Online)

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Review’s report

Vectors of culture

Elina Elena Genrikhovna, Saratov State University

This is a review of a collected volume of articles prepared by Professor M. Stroganov for his 70th Anniversary. The book intertwines two main academic interests of the author, mixed up in a special, unique to the researcher, methodological paradigm. These are the attention to the literary or folklore text as well as the focus on the diversity of Russian culture in its broadest spectrum: song and singing, music and painting, and the various facets of the theatrical arts. These two components of academic exploration in the work of Stroganov are in constant interaction and mutual infl uence. The author goes on to explore not only the obvious manifestations of these connections, but also sees in them the d riving force of all Russian artistic thought, the search for the aesthetic ideal, and the answers to the burning questions of Russian life. The key aspect explored in the book’s chapters is the dialectics of high culture and mass culture. The author argues that mass culture is not just a negative episode in the development of a culture which should be resolved to avoid distortions, but a feature of the historical development of society. This occurs, according to the author, due to the fact that mass culture is formed simultaneously with the emergence of the original high literature. The opinions of many prominent literary and artistic fi gures against the cheap popularity of mass culture, its gravitation towards tastelessness, violation of sacredness, trivialisation and distortion of the sublime, provoke the author of the reviewed book to have a serious and substantiated discussion about the mass culture. For the author, mass culture has its own parameters and boundaries, with its own separate tasks and ways of realisation; it has its own reader-viewer-listener, and is thus the most important object of an academic study. М. Stroganov formulates the specifi cs of this object and creates a system for its analytical description.


Review of: Stroganov M. V. Paradoxes of culture: Essays over the years. St. Petersburg, Rostok Publ., 2022. 402 p. With illustrations (in Russian)

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