667 Chapters
Medium 9780253203175

Bogdanov’s Inner Message

Alexander Bogdanov Indiana University Press ePub

Loren R. Graham


Alexander Bogdanov’s novels Red Star and Engineer Menni were popular illustrations of his theories of politics and philosophy.1 Red Star portrayed developed socialism on the planet Mars and it opposed socialist humanity and cooperation to capitalist cruelty and individualism. The hero, Leonid, held out the hope that socialism could soon be created in Russia. Published almost ten years before the Russian Revolution of 1917, the book was popular among Russian radicals both before and after that date. Engineer Menni, published five years later, in 1913, was based on the success of the earlier work and portrayed the history of Mars during the period of capitalism that preceded the events narrated in Red Star. Let us look more closely at these novels, first Red Star and then Engineer Menni, in an attempt to understand more fully Bogdanov’s intentions.

The primary ideological goal of Red Star, the encouragement of revolution, is clear. However, the novel contains a secondary message which has not been noticed, yet which is striking and prescient. Indeed, the novel is an example of how the readers of a utopia may consider it a success yet not understand what the author meant when he wrote it.

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Medium 9780253003102

2 Consider the Source: Critical Considerations of the Medium of Social Media / Kirsten C. Uszkalo and Darren James Harkness

PAUL BUDRA Indiana University Press ePub


In 2009 Iran blocked its citizens’ access to Twitter and Facebook in an attempt to quell social discord about its federal election. A Ryerson student was threatened in 2008 with suspension for cheating because of setting up a study group on Facebook. The U.S. Marine Corps has banned the use of Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter. New media studies, especially those concerned with social media environments, are investigating the constructions, roles, and effects of the media that are proliferating in the information age. The variety of social media available to those with high-speed internet connections means that those with an inclination can publish themselves online. These technologies do more than create a platform for speakers, however. The infrastructure and interface of social media influence how messages are created and sent. McLuhan couldn’t have been more prescient with his assertion that the medium is the message; for social media, the software is the message. There are myriad social media platforms available, but this chapter will concentrate on the interfaces of three of the most widely used in North America: blogs, Twitter, and Facebook. Moreover, we will look at how the infrastructures behind the interfaces themselves construct, normalize, and proliferate the public images of the speaker. The technologies that run under the hood of popular social media help create and distribute online selves, cobble together communities, and share sound bites and narratives. A study of new texts on the boundaries of literature must consider the ways in which the medium creates the message. The interface defines new social media.

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Medium 9780253203175

Fantasy and Revolution: Alexander Bogdanov and the Origins of Bolshevik Science Fiction

Alexander Bogdanov Indiana University Press ePub

Richard Stites

“Blood is being shed [down there] for the sake of a better future,” says the Martian to the hero of Red Star as they are ascending to Mars. “But in order to wage the struggle we must know that future.” The blood he speaks of was the blood of workers shot down in the streets of St. Petersburg, of revolutionaries put against the wall of prison courtyards, of insurgent sailors and soldiers, of Jewish victims of pogroms in the Russian Revolution of 1905. And by “that better future” he means not the immediate outcome of the revolution but the radiant future of socialism that will dawn on earth after revolution has triumphed everywhere. In order to inspect the coming socialist order, the hero—a Bolshevik activist named Leonid—has accepted the invitation of a Martian visitor to fly with him and his crew to Mars.

In this manner Alexander Bogdanov, a major prophet of the Bolshevik movement and one of its most versatile writers and thinkers, begins his Utopian science fiction novel Red Star, first published in 1908. The red star is Mars; but it is also the dream set to paper of the kind of society that could emerge on Earth after the dual victory of the scientific-technical revolution and the social revolution. Bogdanov, a professional revolutionary, was one of those people, peculiar to revolutionary societies of our century, who moved easily back and forth between the barricade and the study table, the prison cell and the laboratory. He was a physician and a man of science; and he was the first in Russian fiction to combine a technical utopia, grounded in the latest scientific theories of the time, with the ideas of revolutionary Marxism. This was the central theme of both Red Star and his other novel, Engineer Menni.

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Medium 9781607321798

3. Poetic Tenacity: A Diachronic Study of Kennings in Mayan Languages

Kerry M. Hull University Press of Colorado ePub


A Diachronic Study of Kennings in Mayan Languages


The poetic and literary aspects of Maya hieroglyphic texts are just beginning to come into focus. In this chapter I trace the diachronic use of one of the most elegant poetic forms among the Maya: the diphrastic kenning—the pairing of two distinct elements to produce a metaphorical, more abstract third concept. I investigate the use and meanings of fourteen specific kennings/pairings found in Maya hieroglyphic writing that have attested counterparts in Colonial period documents or modern Mayan languages. This comparative analysis sheds light on both Maya conceptual patterning based on selectively paired lexical items and the interpretation of such kennings over time. I also argue that diphrastic kennings, firmly entrenched in the parallelistic structuring, allow us to definitively posit the presence of a poetic tradition at least as far back as the Early Classic period that has continued unabated to modern times.

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Medium 9781885635150

Cardinal Song

Zach Savich Center for Literary Publishing ePub

for David Bartone

A ladder built into the exterior of a truck,
all anything does is confide, every morning

beginning now, decency its own kind
of constitution, each step onto a balcony or

from a café with little outdoor seating,
not counting the city. “What year

is that from,” the mother says. “First century
AD,” says her son. “But that’s a hundred


for Jeff Downey

We proceed by pattern and anomaly, had
no money but lived above a bakery

and a florist, just-aged flowers free
in a trough. I liked how you called the street

I always take “the secret way,” two fingers
held to a passing dog.

for Hilary Plum

We go to the cinema merely
for the light, view of alleys

from a balcony, to be in
the world and it is mythic:

zinnia market in the churchyard,
onions in mesh, daylit moon

a watermark on foreign currency.


I sang: Tell me of the heart which exists
in which to continue is not
to confine


Then dreamed I sang so loudly, I woke
myself singing

The cygnets’ feet were lost in snow

The cygnets were lovely because footless

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