Il’ia Kukulin. Mashiny zashumevshego vremeni: Kak sovetskii montazh stal metodom neofitsial’noi kul’tury.
Moscow: Novoe literaturnoe obozrenie, 2015.
Address for correspondence:
School of Languages, Literatures and Cultures,
University of Edinburgh, 50 George Square, Edinburgh,
EH8 9LH, United Kingdom.
Il’ia Kukulin’s book presents an expanded treatment of the montage techniques employed by many twentieth-century writers and artists that he has already explored in several previous publications. This well-researched book offers an insightful and thoughtful account of different types of montage devices, ranging from Russian avant-garde artists’ and filmmakers’ experiments, to the documentary strategies in post-Soviet poetry involving elegiac juxtapositions of mnemonic narratives with photographs from the past. It exemplifies well Peter Burger’s pronouncement in his Theory of the Avant-Garde that “without the avant-garde notion of montage numerous realms of contemporary aesthetic experience would be inaccessible” (1984:22). According to Kukulin, in the 1920s Soviet montage evolved as part of the monumental style, but in the postwar period it became used for marginal experiments in life writing, visual arts, and poetry. The book also explores the link between montage devices and historical consciousness.