Includes bibliographical references (p. 277-288) and index.
1. At The Heart Of Soviet Civilization: The meaning of the trickster trope; The trickster's politics; The trickster trope and the Soviet subjectivity; Cynical or kynical? -- 2. Khulio Khurenito: the Trickster's Revolution: Modernizing the trickster; The method: overidentification; Why did Khurenito decide to die? -- 3. Ostap Bender: the King Is Born: Ostap as trickster; Social schizophrenia; A kynical king of the cynics -- 4. Buratino: the Utopia of a Free Marionette: Buratino as a mediator; Buratino as an artist; Buratino as a cynic -- 5. Venichka: a Tragic Trickster: The trickster as the underground author; Rituals of expenditure; "I Will Not Explain to You Who Were These Four ..." -- 6. Tricksters In Disguise: The Trickster's Transformations In The Soviet Film Of The 1960s-70s: "Reformed" tricksters in the comedies of the 70s-80s: Gaidai's Tricksters; Riazanov's Detochkin; Daneliia's Buzykin; The art of alibi: Stierlitz as the Soviet intelligent : Who are you working for?; The Imperial Mediator; Stierlitz's Afterlife -- 7. Splitting The Trickster: Pelevin's Shape-Shifters: The society of shape-shifters; Genealogy of the heroine; A fairytale about shape-shifters; The trickster's magic/politics: a bifurcation point; Cynic versus kynic.
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