One thing that I don’t like about Aseyev’s book In Isolation are the footnotes. Of course, the book is published by Harvard University Press, so the footnotes are either snooty (“the author misunderstands XYZ”) or uninformed. For instance, the slang word “sovok” is explained as “a person who uncritically supports Soviet ideology and buys into Soviet propaganda.” The problem is that when the word was invented in the 1970s such people didn’t exist. Sovok is a person who’s obedient, badly dressed, lacks initiative, and is generally afraid of life. The fashionable crowd in the 1970s used the word to describe people in cheap fake Soviet jeans who followed the rules.
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