Architecture of the Off-Modern

Svetlana Boym

     5.5 × 8.5 in (14.0 × 21.6 cm)
80 pages
20 color illustrations, 22 b/w illustrations
Publication date: 8/1/2008
Rights: World
ISBN: 9781568987781

Svetlana Boym's Architecture of the Off-Modern is an imaginative tour through the history and afterlife of Vladimir Tatlin's legendary but unbuilt Monument to the Third International of 1920. Generally considered to be the defining expression of architectural constructivism, the structure was envisioned as a towering symbol of modernity and a twisting, turning memorial and media center for the Bolshevik Revolution that would have dwarfed the Eiffel Tower. Boym traces the vicissitudes of Tatlin's tower from its reception in the 1920s to its privileged recall in "the reservoir of unofficial utopian dreams" of the Soviet era. Boym offers an alternative history of modernism, postulating the "architecture of adventure" as a poetic model for "third-route" thinking about technology, history, and aesthetic culture.

Svetlana Boym is the Curt Hugo Reisinger Professor of Slavic Languages and Literatures and Professor of Comparative Literature at Harvard University. Her interests include twentieth-century Russian literature (poetry, essay, autobiographical fiction), film and contemporary art, cultural studies, comparative literature, the literature of exile, literary theory, Soviet and post-Soviet culture, and East European expatriate writing. She is also a media artist and curator. Among the major themes of her work are memory and nostalgia, political and artistic freedom. Her publications include The Future of Nostalgia (2001), Common Places: Mythologies of Everyday Life in Russia (1994), and Death in Quotation Marks: Cultural Myths of the Modern Poet (1991).

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