Serfdom, Society, and the Arts in Imperial Russia: The Pleasure and the Power
Serf-era and provincial Russia heralded the spectacular turn in cultural history that began in the 1860s. Examining the role of arts and artists in society’s value system, Richard Stites explores this shift in a groundbreaking history of visual and performing arts in the last decades of serfdom. Provincial town and manor house engaged the culture of Moscow and St. Petersbu...more
Hardcover, 640 pages
Published December 14th 2005 by Yale University Press
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Stites seriously cares. He writes like he is writing poetry, except that he is writing about pleasure and power (so porno!) in bound Russia. He takes into account both gender and sexuality and makes postmodern arguments about the ways that these forces (bound labor, the arts) intersect and are inextricably linked. This is my favourite Russian social history book so far. Gorgeous.