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Reinventing Humor and Satire in Post-Soviet Russia

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Publication Year: 2009

Published by: Slavica Publishers

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. v-vi

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pp. vii-viii

As a collection of essays this volume would not have come to fruition without the talent and creativity of many individuals. The editors are indebted to all the contributors for sharing their fascination with post-Soviet humor and satire, as well as for their flexibility, patience, and professionalism during the long editing process. ...

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Of Tears and Laughter: Humor and Satire in Post-Soviet Russia

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pp. 1-8

In one of his recent monologues the prominent Russian satirical writer and stand-up comedian Mikhail Zhvanetsky comments: "We know by experience that a low quality of life breeds a high quality of humor. Humor today has gotten unbearably bad. Guess what this means ... Well, let's drink to that!"2 ...

Humor and Satire in Literature

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pp. 9-10

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Vladimir Voinovich and Soviet/Emigre/Post-Soviet Satire: A Case Study

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pp. 11-26

The life and extraordinary adventures of Vladimir Voinovich seem to illustrate the rule that good satire requires an identifiable oppositional target, a clear antagonist. This is true, of course, of the satiric mode in general. Satire has a critical and corrective function; it "exists because there is a need for it."1 ...

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Through the "I" of the Narrator: Evgeny Popov and the Satire of Collapse

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pp. 27-40

Evgeny Popov's work as a whole is difficult, if not impossible, to define. Robert Porter refers to Popov's "kaleidoscopic qualities," whereby each individual story repays close and detailed analysis, though Porter notes at the same time that "some of the stories betray a pattern of cross-references" with "recurrent refrains and motifs," characters, and even street-names1 ...

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Onwards and Upwards: Senchin's Satiric "I"

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pp. 41-56

The concluding scene of Roman Senchin's recent novella "Onwards and Upwards on Dead Batteries" ("Vpered i vverkh na sevshikh batareikakh," 2004) presents the protaponist, Roman Senchin, at one of his most revealing—and liminal—moments.1 Exhilarated, he is rushing to the Sheremetevo Airport to catch his flight to Frankfurt. ...

Humor and Satire in Animation and Anekdot

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pp. 57-58

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New Komiks for the New Russians

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pp. 59-78

Alexander Alekseev-Svinkin's painting The New Russians (1998) depicts a group of portly, debauched but oddly saint-like arrivistes in the throes of a swank Moscow party. Champagne in hand, they gaze back from an ethereal sea of pastel reds, smudgy ochres, and warm flesh tones. ...

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The Rise and Fall of the Jokeloric New Russians

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pp. 79-98

The dramatic rupture of the old ways of Russian life and rapid changes in the socio-economic fabric in the last decade of the twentieth century engendered a body of jokelore about a new social group known as the "New Russians." First used by Hedrick Smith, in post-Soviet public discourse the term denoted members of the nascent entrepreneurial stratum.1 ...

Humor and Satire in Film and Television

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pp. 99-100

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Debunking Myths Old and New: Yury Mamin's Satires in Soviet and Post-Soviet Cinema

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pp. 101-116

Yury Mamin's satires have captured the Soviet empire's collapse and exposed the rise of the new imperial mythology on the ruins of the Soviet utopia. His films owe their success to his rare ability to convey the grotesque atmosphere of Russia's everyday life. Mamin recalls that as a young theater director he was drafted into the army, ...

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The Peculiarities of Russian National Cinemain the Rogozhkin Period

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pp. 117-132

To anyone looking at the range of films directed by Alexander Rogozhkin since his debut, it soon becomes clear that the question of a "common theme" in his oeuvre is not a straightforward one. Themes and techniques, periods and styles, actors and designs vary significantly over the twenty years since his first feature in 1985. ...

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Kira Muratova's Eccentric Cinema

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pp. 133-144

Kira Muratova is one of the few major film makers whose career spans both the Soviet and post-Soviet years. She has been directing films since the early 1960s, and has now made more feature-length films in the post-Soviet period (seven) than she managed to make in her nearly thirty years as a controversial Soviet film director1 ...

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A Reconciling Smile: Humor in the Detective Series Streets of Broken Lights

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pp. 145-158

On January 1, 1998 the TNT channel began broadcasting a new detective series Streets of Broken Lights (Ulitsy razbitykh fonarei). The show became an instant success and was subsequently run on ORT and later on NTV, Russia's two main television channels.1 The program earned the reputation of narodnyi seria (people's show)2 ...

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How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the USSR: History, Irony, and Nostalgia in Leonid Parfenov's TV Project Namedni: 1961-1991

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pp. 159-174

Like Dr. Strangelove's "survival kit," the tagline of Leonid Parfenov's historical show Like Yesterday: 1961- 1991, Our Era (Namedni: 1961-1991, nasha era) is designed for a serious task but promises pleasure: "events, people, phenomena that determined our way of life; everything without which it is impossible to imagine, let alone understand, us." ...

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Kukly: Rage and Jest

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pp. 175-192

Puppets (Kukly), a weekly TV puppet show written for most of its run mainly by Viktor Shenderovich, is one of the most prominent examples of post-Soviet political satire. The present article examines various aspects of the program: the authors' satirical intentions, its characteristic comic devices, its parallels with traditional art, and official reactions to the show. ...

Humor and Satire in Music and Performance

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pp. 193-194

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Striking Crude Chords: Bawdy Humor in Post-Soviet Russian Rock

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pp. 195-210

When the Soviet Union broke up, Russian rock underwent a crisis. No longer able to define themselves in relation to Soviet society young bands, su ch as Nol' (Zero) and Sektor Gaza (The Gas Strip), turned to bawdy humor as a way to rebel against cultural norms1 In the period immediately following the dissolution of the Soviet Union ...

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Private Space on the Public Stage: Marriage in Russian Stand-Up Comedy of the 1990s

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pp. 211-222

In accordance with Tolstoy's observation that "each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way," marital dilemmas have served as an inspiration for Russian stand-up (estrada) comedy since the genre's inception2 Having emerged in the Soviet Union in the early 1950s, estrada comedy of marriage was usually a form of politicized ideological discourse ...

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pp. 223-228

Andrei Siniavsky made the following prediction in 1978, and although he was referring specifically to the Soviet underground joke (anekdot), he might have envisioned a similar future for his native country's satire and humor in general: "It is as if the anekdot wants to be banned, to be liquidated, and survives on this expectation. ...


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pp. 229-246

Back Cover

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E-ISBN-13: 9780893578503
E-ISBN-10: 0893578509
Print-ISBN-13: 9780893573508
Print-ISBN-10: 0893573507

Page Count: 252
Illustrations: 10
Publication Year: 2009