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Culture of Russia


Nowadays turning back one can say that Russian culture was not homogeneous in itself. Political, ideological and ethical bias of epochs, no doubt, had an influence on the history of our country. But nevertheless, among all those bias there existed some middle way - a powerful stream of tradition, which defined the very essence of the whole. Moreover, private ways did not always coincide with the common stream, taking away in so-called 'cultural deadlocks', which as it turned out, impressed our contemporaries most of all.


It is worth mentioning that they stopped creating culture, they began interpreting and using it.

But the golden age of our home culture that came after a very short (both from historical and human points of view) flash of Pushkin's genius was farbeyond the horizon. Longing for world culture, if it is still alive, - is longing for Pushkin's epoch this time.

The heights of Russian culture - are not so much ethical perfection as serving to conscience. Moral measuring of public actions is undoubtedly, the merit of Russian culture.

In Russia literature and philology became the basis of it and it is not only our writers' merit but also the fact that philology is the main peculiarity of our home culture.

Quite often a literary man - the first free estate in Russia - happened to be a bearer and the one who expressed the national Truth.

That is why, the dramatic relations 'poet - tsar' or 'artist - state', were quite often taken as withstanding between conscience and power.

That cultural phenomenon constituted the essential part of the history of Russia, the history of its culture and public thought. The biographies of our Russian literary men, publicists and thinkers often became hagiology for new generations.

By the end of the last century the epoch of cultural unity had turned out to be ideological breaking up.

Remarkable, by itself, the striving of Russian cultural estate to serve the society resulted in substituting of ideal criteria for marketing of its utilitarian use.

Unfortunately, social values began prevailing more and more over private life; over cultural creative work and the things having public significance began ousting the things having moral and outlook significance.

What is more, so-called 'Silver Age' was unable to continue the tradition with dignity and to solve the problem of unity. Culture, and first of all philology, soared over life in search of spirituality.

Thus, so unexpectedly the weakness of Russian culture in the sense of realizing lofty ideals was discovered.

Very promising cultural abundance of the beginning of the 20th century turned into deadlocks and barren flowers - the Russian society was unable to find neither cultural nor moral immunity against Marxist and social virus.

Russian culture dispersed about the world - and that was the first experience of its worldwide existence.

Nowadays, twice during the century, Russian culture happened to be separated and again violently.

However, if at the beginning of the century the best representatives of culture were ousted from language as well as national areas of existence, then nowadays Russian geocultural space itself split into several political trends.

But the thing is not only in splitting of Russian imperial space, in the capitals of which culture was mainly created. From that times on, Russian cultural centres have become the part of the worldwide culture, where they have to exist mainly as a museum and tourist industry.

Nevertheless, province is still province and it is deprived of the possibility for creativity due to historical circumstances.

And it is now the turn of the Russian people, living on their own land, under the defense of their traditions, but deprived of their common national guiding lines.

Russian culture is doomed either to life on its own or further provincial existence but this time on a worldwide scale. It is doubtful, that after Bolshevik experiment and liberal shock Russian-speaking people will have enough creative power to continue their creative activity in the field of culture.

Still for the present Russian culture experiences its unity both in geographical and historical spheres, that is it adheres to its sources and traditions.

But it should be admitted that Russian sluggishness and the feeling of grandeur made it impossible for us to complete the process of cultural self-awareness, to touch the sources and to be embued with the sense of self-dignity in full measure. This might become the end of Russian history of culture, as well as its starting point.

To go ahead it is necessary to return to our sources, that is - to unity, to the unity where there is no separation into patriots and Westernists, liberals and communists, but there are only men of honour and scoundrels.

The thing is that our Russian world is made in such a way that men of honour were the first to die but thanks to this it was clear who was the real scoundrel. It is our cultural heritage that helps us to become so fastidious.

That is the hardest work to do, which requires not only great moral efforts but also intellectual self-mobilization.

Nowadays, Pushkin's lines are still clear and understandable; the language of Russian classic literature is not consigned to oblivion. Recently the works of Russian thinkers and religious figures have become available to us.

As for cultural Renaissance it is still a great Utopia. But the task of renewing of traditions, lying in the basis of culture and defining its contents, is very important and noble work. It is this work that leads us to future.