Polishing vs Policing the Mores: A Speculative Approach to Public Space and Literary Criticism in Post-Stalinist Societies Cover Image
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Polishing vs Policing the Mores: A Speculative Approach to Public Space and Literary Criticism in Post-Stalinist Societies
Polishing vs Policing the Mores: A Speculative Approach to Public Space and Literary Criticism in Post-Stalinist Societies

Author(s): Caius Dobrescu
Subject(s): Cultural Essay, Political Essay, Societal Essay
Published by: Scientia
Keywords: politeness; conversation; face; distance; publicity

Summary/Abstract: The paper elaborates on a social and psychological understanding of space, by adopting the view that the generation of social space is a mechanism inherent and essential to developing a sense of personal freedom. It also posits that the rules, attitudes, and postures of conviviality could be construed as generating the experience of “space,” both social and public. The necessary character of the connection between the manners (including the training in the ways of the acumen) which define the classical ideal of “politeness” and the projection (seminal to the most common notion of “civilization”) of protective virtual spaces is tested on a fringe case: the emergence, through the agency of literary criticism, of enclaves of polite debate within the post-Stalinist East-European societies.

  • Issue Year: 4/2012
  • Issue No: 1
  • Page Range: 102-116
  • Page Count: 15
  • Language: English