Russian Science Fiction Literature and Cinema: A Critical Reader

Russian Science Fiction Literature and Cinema: A Critical Reader

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Edited and introduced by Anindita Banerjee

Series: Cultural Syllabus
ISBN: 9781618117229 (hardcover) / 9781618117236 (paperback)
Pages: approx. 520 pp.
Publication Date: January 2018

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Since the dawn of the Space Age, when the Soviet Union launched the first artificial satellite and sent the first human into the cosmos, science fiction literature and cinema from Russia has fascinated fans, critics, and scholars from around the world. Informed perspectives on the surprisingly long and incredibly rich tradition of Russian science fiction, however, are hard to come by in accessible form. This critical reader aims to provide precisely such a resource for students, scholars, and the merely curious who wish to delve deeper into landmarks of the genre, discover innumerable lesser-known gems in the process, and understand why science fiction came to play such a crucial role in Russian society, politics, technology, and culture for more than a century.

Contributors include: Mark B. Adams, Anindita Banerjee, Lynn Barker, Eliot Borenstein, Aleksandr Chantsev, Istvan Csicsery-Ronay, Stephen Dalton, Dominic Esler, Elana Gomel, Andrew Horton, Yvonne Howell, Asif A. Siddiqi, Robert Skotak, Michael G. Smith, Vlad Strukov, Darko Suvin


Anindita Banerjee is an Associate Professor of Comparative Literature and a Faculty Fellow at the Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future at Cornell University. She is the author of We Modern People: Science Fiction and the Making of Russian Modernity (Wesleyan University Press, 2013), winner of the Science Fiction and Technoculture Studies Book Prize.


Table of Contents

INTRODUCTION
Anindita Banerjee. A Possible Strangeness: Reading Russian Science Fiction on the Page and the Screen

I. FROM UTOPIAN TRADITIONS TO REVOLUTIONARY DREAMS
Darko Suvin. The Utopian Tradition of Russian Science Fiction
Mark B. Adams. Red Star: Another Look at Aleksandr Bogdanov
Anindita Banerjee. Generating Power
Asif A. Siddiqi. Imagining the Cosmos: Utopians, Mystics, and the Popular Culture of Spaceflight in Revolutionary Russia

II. RUSSIA’S ROARING TWENTIES
Dominic Esler. Soviet Science Fiction of the 1920s: Explaining a Literary Genre in its Political and Social Context
Eliot Borenstein. The Plural Self: Zamjatin’s We and the Logic of Synecdoche
Andrew J. Horton. Science Fiction of the Domestic: Iakov Protazanov’s Aelita
Yvonne Howell. Eugenics, Rejuvenation, and Bulgakov’s Journey into the Heart of Dogness

III. FROM STALIN TO SPUTNIK AND BEYOND
Michael G. Smith. Stalinism and the Genesis of Cosmonautics
Lynn Barker and Robert Skotak. Klushantsev: Russia’s Wizard of Fantastika
Istvan Csicsery-Ronay Jr. Towards the Last Fairy Tale: The Fairy-Tale Paradigm in the Strugatskys’ Science Fiction, 1963–72
Stephen Dalton. Tarkovsky, Solaris, and Stalker

IV. FUTURES AT THE END OF UTOPIA
Elana Gomel. Viktor Pelevin and Literary Postmodernism in Soviet Russia
Vlad Strukov. The Forces of Kinship: Timur Bekmambetov’s Night Watch Cinematic Trilogy
Aleksandr Chantsev. The Antiuopia Factory: The Dystopian Discourse in Russian Literature in the Mid-2000s