Erotic Utopia, The Decadent Imagination in Russia’s Fin de Siecle

Erotic Utopia, The Decadent Imagination in Russia’s Fin de Siecle

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The first generation of Russian modernists experienced a profound sense of anxiety resulting from the belief that they were living in an age of decline. What made them unique was their utopian prescription for overcoming the inevitability of decline and death both by metaphysical and physical means. They intertwined their mystical erotic discourse with European degeneration theory and its obsession with the destabilization of gender. In Erotic Utopia, Olga Matich suggests that same-sex desire underlay their most radical utopian proposal of abolishing the traditional procreative family in favor of erotically induced abstinence. “Offers a fresh perspective and a wealth of new information on early Russian modernism. . . . It is required reading for anyone interested in fin-de-sicle Russia and in the history of sexuality in general.”—Bernice Glatzer Rosenthal, Slavic and East European Journal “Thoroughly entertaining.”—Avril Pyman, Slavic Review

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