Letters from Russia by Astolphe De Custine

By Astolphe De Custine

The Marquis de Custine's list of his journey to Russia in 1839 is a brilliantly perceptive, even prophetic, account of 1 of the world's so much interesting and stricken nations. it's also an excellent piece of go back and forth writing. Custine, who met with humans in all walks of existence, together with the Czar himself, deals vibrant descriptions of St. Petersburg and Moscow, of existence at courtroom and in the street, and of the impoverished Russian geographical region. yet including a wealth of sharply delineated incident and element, Custine's nice paintings additionally provides an indelible picture--roundly denounced via either Czarist and Communist regimes--of a rustic overwhelmed through despotism and "intoxicated with slavery."

Letters from Russia, the following released in a brand new variation ready through Anka Muhlstein, the writer of the Goncourt Prize-winning biography of Custine, stands with Tocqueville's Democracy in the United States as a profound and passionate stumble upon with ancient forces which are nonetheless a great deal at paintings on the planet at the present time.

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Planning became, in a sense, a conceptual rather than practical or pragmatic activity, a process of imposing dreams on reality. 23 It signalled the beginning of a shift in attitude toward the remodelling of the territory. The drive for industrialization initiated by the First Plan effected a sudden transformation in the imaginary national map, accelerating the process of otkrytie (opening up) the territory that had begun through electrification. ”24 Two hundred new industrial towns and one hundred agricultural towns were to be built as part of the Plan—many of them, such as Magnitogorsk, Avtostroi, and Kominternovsk, on virgin territory (Figure ).

Lenin’s light is starting to burn . . ” In practice, however, the representation of electrification in documentary films made visible a more complex dialectic of homogeneity and difference in the representation of the relationship between local and national spaces. Sitting ambiguously between a drive for sameness and an emphasis on equality, the model of the grid raised important questions about the status of localness in Soviet imaginary geography. Illuminated, the village became a mark on the ideological map, woven into a national network.

Reprinted from Oktiabr’skie Stranitsy (‒ ), compiled by V. S. Listov and G. A. Ambernadi, . Connecting Figure . ” From SSSR na stroike, , no. : . in the battle against the remnants (ostatki) of capitalism and economic backwardness in the countryside and the means of achieving the ideal of smychka. 18 The plan was to function as a symbolic and educational artefact, explicitly uniting centre and periphery, local and national spaces. As part of the propaganda and publicity programme accompanying electrification, the journalist I.

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