In This Review

Perilous States: Conversations on Culture, Politics, and Nation
Perilous States: Conversations on Culture, Politics, and Nation
Edited by George E. Marcus
Chicago University Press, 1994, 381 pp
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The first in a series of planned annual meditations on the fin de siecle, this volume consists of conversations between cultural anthropologists of a mostly post-modernist bent and a variety of literary, intellectual, and political figures in the former communist world. And what hopeful new forms of cultural creation arise out of the rubble of an exhausted modernity? Shamanism, Russian chauvinism, and anti-Semitism, among other things. This volume is useful as a kind of unedited primary sourcebook, containing interviews with contemporary Russian nationalists like Aleksandr Prokhanov and Vadim Kozhinov that provide striking vignettes of post-communist thought. The interviewers post-modernist commentary is likely to bewilder most readers and leave them longing for old-fashioned modernism.