Year XIX, Issue 9-10 (215-216)

November 2015
Mykola Riabchuk. “A Wonderful Slavonic People”. Russian Stereotypes of Ukrainians: From the Imperial Imagination to Post-Imperial Reality
Edmund  S.  Phelps. What Is Wrong with the West’s Economies?
Marci Shore. “A Spectre is Haunting Europe…”: Dissidents, Intellectuals and a New Generation

Summary of this Issue

The September-October issue of Krytyka opens with an article on “’A Wonderful Slavonic People’. Russian Stereotypes of Ukrainians: From the Imperial Imagination to Post-Imperial Reality”, by Mykola Riabchuk, a Ukrainian critic and columnist, chair of Ukrainian PEN. Riabchuk is known for his extended writings on this topic, and this is another in-depth historical analysis of things Ukrainian in the Russian imagination. There is still a need for it, and even well-read Ukrainians will find new dimensions to this issue. The article first appeared in Robert Kusek, Jacek Purchla, Joanna Sanetra-Szeliga (eds.), Nations and Stereotypes, 25 Years After: New Borders, New Horizons in 2015.

Ivan Krastev is a Bulgarian political scientist, Chairman of the Board of the Centre for Liberal Strategies in Sofia, and “an expert on disintegration” as he described himself in his article “How to Avoid Europe’s Disintegration.” He writes on a new paradox that emerged as a result of both the European crisis and the situation in Ukraine, the Europeanization of broad policies and an emergence of renewed national sentiment on the nation-state level.

Edmund  S.  Phelps, the 2006 Nobel Laureate in Economics and director of Columbia’s Center on Capitalism and Society, examines “What Is Wrong with the West’s Economies?” His point is that people need an economy “that is good as well as just,” and the author encourages his readers to keep in mind both concepts  — “the good” and “the just” — throughout the article. The piece first appeared in The New York Review of Books (vol. 62, No. 13).

“Where is the line between tradition as enabling and a source of inspiration and tradition as a stupefying canon?” This question is at the focus of “Unknown Territories,” an essay by the Ukrainian art critic and editor Kateryna Botanova. The piece first appeared in the volume Culturescapes Island. Zwischen Sagas und Pop in 2015.

In October 2015, during the Kyiv Biennial and within “The School of Abducted Europe,” the Biennial hosted Marci Shore, associate professor of History at Yale, and Jurko Prokhasko, the Ukrainian Germanist and translator, who discussed the concepts of “the truth” and also “the Truth” in the context of Peter Pomerantsev’s famous book Nothing Is True and Everything Is Possible. The article “’A Spectre is Haunting Europe…’: Dissidents, Intellectuals and a New Generation” by Marci Shore is a good foreword to that captivating discussion, and the essay “The Real Truth” by Jurko Prokhasko can serve as a good afterword. Marci Shore’s essay was originally published in Vladimir Tismaneanu and Bogdan  C.  Iacob eds., The End and the Beginning. The Revolutions of 1989 and the Resurgence of History volume by CEU in 2012, and Jurko Prokhasko elaborated his discussion points specially for Krytyka.

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