MAJOR CHANGES IN POST-STALINIST Soviet society led to the gradual disintegration of the cultural and political myths that are encoded in socialist realism and that supported that society's structures. The last decade of the Soviet Union witnessed the emergence of a new Russian literature that used the paradigms of Soviet culture and language as building blocks for qualitatively new literary works. In a gesture of self-examination and self-reinvigoration, prompted in part by the cataclysmic occurrences within society, literature began to feed on itself, recombining in its narrative the simulacra of its culture, and demonstrating in the process its own limitations and powers. The mythological underpinnings of the Soviet mentality were examined in painstaking detail, the language of Soviet society defamiliarized, and the absurdity of most commonly held beliefs exposed as such. Soviet culture was now perceived as an artificial construct, a scholarly dialect that could be learned, understood, and abandoned, since the society that brought forth this culture, and literature, was fast disappearing.