The Institutions of Russian Modernism

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ISBN 978-0-8101-3574-1

Cloth Text – $120.00

ISBN 978-0-8101-3573-4

Paper Text – $39.95

ISBN 978-0-8101-3572-7
Publication Date
October 2017
Page Count
320 pages
Trim Size
6 x 9

The Institutions of Russian Modernism

Conceptualizing, Publishing, and Reading Symbolism
Jonathan Stone

The Institutions of Russian Modernism illuminates the key role of Symbolism as the earliest form of modernism in Russia. Combining book history, periodical studies, and reception theory, Jonathan Stone examines the poetry and theory of Russian Symbolism within the framework of the institutions that organized, published, and disseminated the works to Russian readers.

Stone’s study begins with the growth of Russian Symbolism into a unified concept. He identifies its first appearances in Russia and the means by which it became established in the Russian mindset and press, elucidating the critical contributions of mediating people and institutions to the movement’s success. He also explores factors in Russia that enabled or shaped the rise of Symbolism, such as commercial printing, distribution networks, and other technological and material developments.

Surveying a wealth of examples of Symbolist journals, almanacs, and publishing houses, Stone traces how publishers of Symbolist works presented the movement both descriptively by examples and prescriptively through explanations of its aesthetics. Stone persuasively argues that after its eclipse Symbolism’s legacy remained embedded in the heart of Russian modernism. The people, structures, and networks that came into being to support Symbolism shaped the creation, dissemination, and consumption of Russian books throughout the early twentieth century, affirming Russia’s place as a key site for the creation of modernism.

The Institutions of Russian Modernism brings into focus for scholars and general readers the unappreciated aspects of Symbolism’s role in the development of modernism and Russian literature.
About the Author

JONATHAN STONE is an associate professor at Franklin & Marshall College in Pennsylvania.

"Stone advances extremely compelling ideas about how Symbolism was able to take root and to thrive in Russia. This study is obligatory reading for anyone with serious interests in Russian modernism." —Jenifer Presto, author of Beyond the Flesh: Alexander Blok, Zinaida Gippius, and the Symbolist Sublimation of Sex