It's Me, Eddie by Edward Limonov

By Edward Limonov

"Remarkable gemstones concerning the down-and-out Russian émigré neighborhood in New York.... Eddie-baby is a grand addition to... hipster literature." - l. a. Herald-Examiner

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24 Empire, collaboration and transition Second, independent statehood is not a culmination of nationhood or a collective national imagination, but constitutes only a starting point in the endeavour to create such an imagination and forge the view of nation as a community. Sovereignty is only a first step in the continuing and ongoing process of decolonization and the construction of an autonomous national imagination. One may argue that the time elapsed since the dissolution of the Soviet Union is still too short to identify the emergence of new forms of post-Soviet institutions and discursive practices: After all, the Subaltern Studies approach emerged after three decades of independence in India.

84 26 Empire, collaboration and transition Mutual collaboration between Moscow and the republic party elites allowed the latter to maximize their gains and to obtain symbolic control by claiming to represent their ethnic constituencies, as it enabled Moscow to temper the potential for nationalist assertion from below. As allies and clients of Brezhnev, the leaders of the five Central Asian republics enjoyed considerable leeway in governing their republic in return for compliance with the centre’s policies and objectives.

75 These nationalist narratives are elite-centred, seeking to produce a homogenized history that serves the particular ideological and political aims identified by the ruling elites of the postcolonial state. 76 A history of the Kazakhs from this perspective, which challenges both Soviet categories, as well as the nationalizing bent of the new post-Soviet history has not yet been attempted as a scholarly enterprise. 77 There are four crucial insights of postcolonial and subaltern theory which help us to explore the effects of Soviet cognitive and institutional frames on the post-Soviet nationalizing state, and to identify the processes that are leading to a replication and reconfiguration of the Soviet frame.

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