Russian Literature Since The Revolution / Edition 1

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Introduction: Literature and the Political Problem

1. Since 1917: A Brief History

Soviet Literature

Persistence of the Past

Fellow Travelers


The Stalinists

Socialist Realism

The Thaw

The Sixties and Seventies

2. Mayakovsky and the Left Front of Art

The Suicide Note

Vladimir Mayakovsky, A Tragedy

The Cloud

"The Backbone Flute"

The Commune and the Left Front

The Bedbug and The Bath

Mayakovsky as a Monument

Poets of Different Camps

3. Prophets of a Brave New World

The Machine and England

Olesha's Critique of the Reason

Envy and Rage

4. The Intellectuals, I


Boris Pilnyak: Biology and History

5. The Intellectuals, II

Isaac Babel: Horror in a Minor Key

Konstantin Fedin: The Confrontation with Europe

Leonov and Katayev


6. The Proletarians, I

The Proletcult

The Blacksmith Poets

Yury Libedinsky: Communists as Human Beings

Tarasov-Rodionov: ,"Our Own Wives, Our Own Children"

Dmitry Furmanov: An Earnest Commissar

A. S. Serafimovich: A Popular Saga

7. The Proletarians, II

Fyodor Gladkov: A Literary Autodidact

Alexander Fadeyev: The Search for a New Leo Tolstoy

Mikhail Sholokhov: The Don Cossacks

A Scatter of Minor Deities


8. The Critic Voronsky and the Pereval Group

Criticism and the Study of Literature



9. The Levers of Control under Stalin


The Purge

The Literary State

10. Zoshchenko and the Art of Satire

11. After Stalin: The First Two Thaws

Pomerantsev, Panova, and The Guests

Ilya Ehrenburg and Alexey Tolstoy

The Second Thaw

The Way of Pasternak

12. Into the Underground

The Literary Parties

The Trouble with Gosizdat: End of a Thaw

Buried Treasure: Platonov and Bulgakov

The Exodus into Samizdat and Tamizdat: Sinyavsky

13. Solzhenitsyn and the Epic of the Camps

One Day

The First Circle and The Cancer Ward

The Gulag

The Calf and the Oak: Dichtung and Wahrheit

Other Contributions to the Epic

14. The Surface Channel, I: The Village

15. The Surface Channel, II: Variety of Theme and Style

The City: Intelligentsia, Women, Workers

The Backwoods: Ethical Problems

Other New Voices of the Sixties and Seventies

World War II

Published Poets

A Final Word on Socialist Realism

16. Exiles, Early and Late

The Exile Experience

"Young Prose" and What Became of It

Religious Quest: Maximov and Ternovsky

Truth through Obscenity: Yuz Aleshkovsky

Transcendence and Tragedy: Erofeev's Trip

Poetry of the Daft: Sasha Sokolov

Perversion of Logic as Ideology: Alexander Zinoviev

A Gathering of Writers



Selected Bibliography


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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780674782044
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press
  • Publication date: 8/9/2002
  • Edition description: ENL
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 424
  • Product dimensions: 0.94 (w) x 6.00 (h) x 9.00 (d)

Table of Contents

Long recognized as the best and most comprehensive work on its subject, Edward J. Brown's fine book is now thoroughly revised and updated. It provides a compendious treatment of Russian literature from the revolutionary period to the early 1980s.

Every stage in the evolution of Russian literature since 1917, every major author, all the important literary organizations, groups, and movements, are sharply outlined, with a wealth of often unfamiliar detail and a notable economy of means. Critical essays on Mayakovsky, Zamyatin, Olesha, Pasternak, Brodsky, Solzhenitsyn, Rasputin, Erofeev, and many others offer sophisticated formal and thematic analyses of a very large array of literary masterpieces.

The book examines and makes intelligible the persistent conflict between the writer and the state, between the literary artist's urge for untrammeled self-expression and the pervasive control of intellectual activity exercised by the Soviet government. Chapters on "The Levers of Control under Stalin," "The First Two Thaws," "Into the Underground," and "Solzhenitsyn and the Epic of the Camps" reveal the conditions under which Russian literature was produced in various periods and investigate the forces that drove an important segment of the literature into clandestine publication or into exile. "Exiles, Early and Late" deals with some of the leading figures in émigré literature and examines the condition of exile as an influence on literary creation. "The Surface Channel" describes and analyzes a number of significant works published aboveground in the Soviet Union during the sixties and seventies. Brown abandons the old distinction between Soviet and émigré literature, treating all Russian writing as part of a single stream, divided since 1917 into two currents not totally separate but subtly interrelated.

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