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  1. The problem here is that there were at least two” new sincerity ” in art (in fact, probably more). One is in America, proclaimed by the writer David Foster Wallace (his program novel, “The Endless Joke”, is just promised to be published in Russian in a year or two); another is in Russia, its first forerunner was the poet and conceptual artist Dmitry Alexandrovich Prigov, and later the title of standard-bearer of the “new sincerity” was taken over by the poet Dmitry Vodennikov (and if for Prigov this very “sincerity” was in many ways still a tool, then for Vodennikov it really turned into a poetic credo). However, these two “earnestnesses” have something in common: fatigue from postmodern conceptual games – and, as a result, a “return to man”, an appeal to “lyrical and confessional discourse” (to use the same Prigov's expression). Wallace wrote that the new generation of literary rebels would consist of “anti-rebels” – “old-fashioned, backward, naive anachronists” who “somehow escaped the ironic view of things.”

    However, this “backlash” against postmodernism does not necessarily mean that the works of the “new sincere” will be traditional and “realistic” in form. The same “Endless Joke” is a very complicated novel (and very difficult to translate, which is also why it reached us so late). And Russian poets-representatives of the “new sincerity” often turn to non-traditional forms. Another thing is that the boundaries of “new sincerity” are generally indistinctly outlined: both in Russia and in the West, this term is primarily associated with a couple of names (the same Wallace and Vodennikov, respectively). In the West, “new sincerity” is often associated with realistic social prose like Zadie Smith or Franzen, in which the problems are revealed through detailed and sympathetic (or not) descriptions of the fate of the characters. And in the Russian understanding, as a rule, “new sincerity “is emphatically apolitical, this is exactly what” lyrical and confessional discourse ” is: poets and writers write about their childhood, about some personal experiences…

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