Russian Children's Literature and Culture

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Overview

Russian children's literature and culture are obscure subjects in the West. When they come up in a conversation, even the most Russia-savvy students shrug their shoulders and produce a genuinely puzzled look on their faces. Some might recall folk tales about Baba Yaga, a witch who lives in the forest in a windowless and doorless hut that turns around on chicken legs, but hardly any would be familiar with the many popular children's tales from Soviet times. The state dispensed lavish funds on supporting children's literature and culture in the Soviet period, but when these subsidies ended with the crumbling of the Soviet system in 1991, the institutions of state-sponsored children's culture vanished, leaving the production and distribution of children's literature to the free publishing market. The essays in Russian Children's Literature and Culture discuss both Soviet and post-Soviet children's literature, covering specific genres, themes, issues, and authors, as well as popular children's entertainment, including theater, cinema, cartoons, and comics.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This volume is the first book-length study of Russian children's literature in English, and as such it is particularly welcome."

Children's Literature Association Quarterly, Vol. 24, No. 1, Spring 2009

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780415888875
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 1/24/2011
  • Pages: 352

Meet the Author

Marian Balina is Professor Russian at Illinois Wesleyan University. She has co-edited a number of collections, including Politiciing Magic: Russian and Soviet Fairy Tales (2005), Dictionary of Literary Biography: Russian Writers Since 1980 (2003), and Endquote: Sots-Art Literature and Soviet Empire Style (2000).
Larissa Rudova is Associate Professor of Russian at Pomona College. She is author of Pasternak's Early Fiction and the Cultural Vanguard (1994) and Understanding Boris Pasternak (1997).

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Table of Contents

Series Editor’s Foreword

Preface

INTRODUCTION: Reading Soviet and Post-Soviet Children’s Culture: Contexts and Challenges

1. Creativity through Restraint: The Beginnings of Soviet Children’s Literature

Marina Balina

2. From Character Building to Criminal Pursuits: Russian Children’s Literature in Transition

PART I Ideology, Literature, and Culture: Genres, Themes, and Issues

3. The Whole Real Children’s World: School Novella and "Our Happy Childhood"

Evgeny Dobrenko

4. Between Sputnik and Gagarin: Space Flight, Children’s Periodicals, and the Circle of Imagination

Anindita Banerjee

5. Crafting the Self: Narratives of Pre-Revolutionary Childhood in Soviet Literature

Marina Balina

6. Literature and Cultural Institutions By and For Soviet and Post-Soviet Youth

Lisa Ryoko Wakamiya

PART II Popular Children’s Entertainment

7. Arresting Development: A Brief History of Soviet Cinema for Children and Adolescents

Alexandr Prokhorov (College of William and Mary)

8. Comforting Creatures in Children’s Cartoons

Birgit Beumers (U of Bristol)

9. Juggernaut in Drag: Theater for Stalin’s Children

Boris Wolfson (USC)

10. ‘Nice, Instructive Stories Their Psychology Can Grasp’: How to Read Post-Soviet Russian Children’s Comics

Jose Alaniz (U of Washington)

PART III: Authors and Texts

11. Samuil Marshak—Yesterday and Today

Ben Hellman (University of Helsinki)

12. Lev Kassil’: Childhood as Religion and Ideology

Inessa Medzhibovskaya (Eugene Lang College, The New School)

13. Pavel Bazhov’s Skazy: Discovering the Soviet Uncanny

Mark Lipovetsky (U of Colorado)

14. A Traditionalist in the Land of Innovators: the Paradoxes of Sergei Mikhalkov

Elena Prokhorova (University of Richmond)

15. Evgenii Shvarts’s Fairy Tale Dramas: Theater, Power, and the Naked Truth

Anja Tippner (University of Salzburg)

16. Invitation to a Subversion: The Playful Literature of Grigorii Oster

Larissa Rudova (Pomona College)

Contributors

Index

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