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The Final Spectacle

The Final Spectacle
title The Final Spectacle
subtitle Soviet Funerals that Have Gone Down in History
Publisher Raffaello Cortina Editore
libro Book
Language Italian
Published on 10/2023
ISBN 9788832855791ENG
Funerals tell us much about a country's society and politics. A look at the propaganda underpinning state funerals in the former Soviet Union helps us understand the contemporary Russian mindset, and the alarming patriotic death cult that has taken hold with Putin's pro-Stalinist re-interpretation of the country's medieval past. 
The book looks at funerals - of figures like Lenin, Stalin, Majakovskij, Gagarin, and Gorbačëv, among others - that have become deeply ingrained in the national conscoiusness, but also other, more recent ones, like that of Prigozhin, held in total secrecy far from the public eye. Visual and written testimonies of the time reveal the relationship between the people and its government, illustrating how funeral spectacles were designed to involve the citizenry and consolidate state power, but also - in the case of spontaneous gatherings in honor of a non-aligned personage - to challenge and defy those in power.

Author biography

Gian Piero Piretto has taught Russian Culture and Visual Culture at the University of Milan. He has translated works by Chekhov and other Russian authors, and is the author of significant studies on the history of Soviet culture.

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