This introductory chapter begins with a review of the works of Lydia Ginzburg. Ginzburg came of age soon after the Revolutions of 1917 as the most talented student of the Russian Formalists. For seven decades, she wrote about the reality of daily life and historical change in Soviet Russia. Yet in the English-speaking world, she is still known primarily as a literary scholar and as a “memoirist” of the siege of Leningrad during World War II. The chapter then sets out the book's focus, namely to investigate Ginzburg's concept of the self in the wake of the crisis of invidualism: a self that is called “post-individualist.” An overview of the subsequent chapters is also presented followed by a biographical sketch of Ginzburg.
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