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Imagining A Soviet Nation: Cultural Representations Of The Ukrainian Past At The Twilight Of The Stalin Era

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Chapter Summary

Without rejecting the nation's "discursivity," in this chapter, the author suggests that nations are always imagined through the concrete social and cultural practices of their given societies. The continuous veneration of the glorious Cossack past in Ukraine since the seventeenth century only confirms that national myths can have deep historical roots and a long tradition of collective remembrance before they are mobilized in the modern process of identity construction. Even if granted a free hand in their manipulations of historical narratives, modern nation-builders still have difficulty enforcing their interpretations outside the public domain. The genre of grand historical opera afforded a unique opportunity to combine Stalinism’s quest for monumentalism and traditionalism in the arts with the system’s regard for national history.

Keywords: cultural representations; soviet nation; Stalinism; Ukraine



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