I was amazed to find a review of my book written by Alex von Delwig, a descendant of Pushkin's best friend:
DARING VISION, September 23, 2012
By Dr Alex von Delwig
"This is probably the most daring vision of the potential role of the hum
anities since the structuralist revolution of the 1950s and 1960s. In the spirit of the Russian avant-garde, Mikhail Epstein challenges the humanities to move from scholarship to `inventorship', and from analytic to synthetic thinking. He demonstrates how the analytical perspectives offered by contemporary philosophy, linguistics, and cultural studies could engender syntheses of new terms and concepts, of cultural movements, and of alternative universes. Epstein declares the epoch of `post-' and deconstruction to be at an end, and reflects on ways of effecting a transition to the creative and constructive humanities, and to a speculative `proto-' vision. Sometimes the book reads like science fiction, or rather `humanities fiction'--a genre that is strikingly absent from contemporary academic discourse. Indeed, it can be understood as an attempt on Epstein's part to revive and reconstitute the genre of the manifesto--a mode of writing which is decidedly unfashionable today, but was of seminal importance for the most ambitious humanistic thinking of the eighteenth century right through to the twentieth. While science and technologies aspire to shape the future, the humanities of today are obsessed with the past, with archives and cultural memory. But why should the study of human beings should be more conservative and nostalgic than the study of nature? This book envisions in a richly suggestive manner how the futuristic humanities could be transformed if vitalized by a bold creative imagination in combination with wide erudition."