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“Glasnost Noire: A Graphic Cultural History of J. H. Chase in Russia”: presentation of Birgitte Beck Pristed

On June 3, Birgitte Beck Pristed, Associate professor of School of Culture and Society - Russian and Balkan Studies at Aarhus University (Denmark) presented a paper based on her new book “The New Russian Book: A Graphic Cultural History” (Palgrave 2017) at the Research Center for Contemporary Culture Academic Seminar.
Based on her monograph "The New Russian Book: A Graphic Cultural History" (Palgrave 2017), Birgitte Beck Pristed took up the obtrusive problem of visual representation of fiction in contemporary Russian book design. By analyzing a broad variety of book covers, she illustrated a radically changing notion of literature in the transformation of Soviet print culture to a post-Soviet book market and delivers a profound and critical exploration of Russian visual imaginary of popular fiction. Pristed presented the case of how the relatively unknown crime fiction writer James Hadley Chase’s translated novel "Ves’ mir v karmane" (The World in My Pocket) was transferred from West to East and enjoyed an incredible boom, as Western popular fiction entered the new Russian book market. By taking a comparative approach to the clash of two formerly separate book cultures, the Western and the Soviet, Pristed uncovered the mixture of highbrow and lowbrow forms and ideological re-interpretations of Chase's work, in the cross field of contemporary book and media history, art, design, and visual studies.