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Beautifully written, deeply researched, and constantly engaging, The Ethnic Avant-Garde restores the allure of Moscow as the beacon of political and perceptual revolution in the early Soviet period. brings to light lost connections and exposes, with scrupulous caution, the redeemable lessons of an irredeemable past. Slavists generally can gain much from its international focus, which helps illustrate the enduring relevance of Soviet and Russian culture to the world at large. But it’s hard to criticize the impulse to conjure such ghosts when Lee’s stunning archival work does such a wonderful job of showing what a vital and wide-ranging cultural and political formation it was Meticulously researched and elegantly written, Lee’s work is notable for the author’s fluency in both Slavic and Anglophone literatures.
The aspiration to conjoin the socialist vanguard and the cultural avant-garde in an international alliance was engraved in the border-crossing works of activist intellectuals who sought to link indigenous roots to vertiginous upheaval. Lee truly understands the pathos and promise of this global experiment. While Lee is a professor of English, his book reflects prodigious archival research in diverse source material on literary, political and art history, including extensive research in Russian archives. The scope of the term ethnic avant-garde expands with each chapter to encompass multiple temporalities and languages, gathering those who share a desire to confront terror and disillusion with experimental art. Indeed, for those hoping to engage a wider variety of students, Lee’s framework, rooted not only in American culture but also in contemporary social issues, will be an invaluable resource. This range is particularly stunning in the use of previously unknown archival materials, translated by Lee, that will shift our understanding of both fields in the years to come.
The book explores Vladimir Mayakovsky's 1925 visit to New York City via Cuba and Mexico, during which he wrote Russian-language poetry in an "Afro-Cuban" voice; Langston Hughes's translations of these poems while in Moscow, which he visited to assist on a Soviet film about African American life; a futurist play condemning Western imperialism in China, which became Broadway's first major production to feature a predominantly Asian American cast; and efforts to imagine the Bolshevik Revolution as Jewish messianic arrest, followed by the slow political disenchantment of the New York Intellectuals.
Avant also offers a lot of flexibility in when and how you repay, making it a good option for borrowers who are unable to afford a more traditional payment plan.More During the 1960s many avant‐garde musicians were intensely involved in the era's social and political upheavals, and often sought to reflect this engagement in their music.Many of these musicians were convinced that aesthetic experiment and social progressiveness made natural bedfellows. For instance, how could institutional and governmental subsidy for recondite music continue to be justified in the context of demands for democratised decision‐making in cultural affairs?A dazzlingly original, ambitious book that challenges us to reconsider the relationship between politics and artistic experimentation during a complex, contradictory, and intriguing period in the history of the United States and the Soviet Union. Lee makes his greatest contribution by telescoping his vision of the Moscow-based ‘ethnic avant-garde’ outward, through the Cold War, past the ‘now-defunct Soviet center,’ and into the present day. Lee narrativizes the openness and complexities of the Stalinist and pre-Stalinist decades in such a manner that the reader is able to witness the aesthetic moment in question, complete with its 'energy,' with the same spontaneity as the artists examined.Lee draws astute and surprising insights into literature, art, modernism, revolution, and the fraught, never-ending struggle to counter racism around the globe. Lee’s argument and scholarship in The Ethnic Avant-Garde are at once imaginative and compelling.
During the 1920s and 1930s, American minority artists and writers collaborated extensively with the Soviet avant-garde, seeking to build a revolutionary society that would end racial discrimination and advance progressive art.