Decontextualization of History: Fantasmic Rebuilding of the Soviet Past


This article is devoted to a specific case of identification with the Soviet past, when the latter is not given in mobile and individualized forms of a personal, family or social group memory, but in the canonized form of a socially recognized cultural representation. The article analyses different phenomena in contemporary mass culture (films and television series) and also considers the tendencies of official historical politics. Although contemporary post-Soviet nostalgia may be described as a secondary identification with the cinematic representation of one or another era the conceptual nostalgic framework through which post-Soviet society is often considered must be corrected. This article proposes the correction can be made via the following thesis: the modern Russian subject (en masse) is no longer nostalgic for the Soviet past, instead nostalgic identification is stylistically mediated by the characteristic modes of their representation in the cinema of the corresponding eras. We should talk about a kind of fantasmic identification, mediated by the specific modes of their cultural representation.

Keywords: history, nostalgia, melancholia, soviet past, post-soviet subject

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