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Russian Literature: 1988-1994

Russian Literature: 1988-1994

Copyright Date: 1995
Pages: 258
  • Book Info
    Russian Literature: 1988-1994
    Book Description:

    The collapse of the Soviet Union brought about radical changes in the Russian literary world. Focusing on the current Russian literary scene,Russian Literature, 1988-1994examines these recent changes.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-2351-4
    Subjects: Language & Literature

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Preface
    (pp. ix-2)
  4. 1 Politics, Literature, and Society
    (pp. 3-34)

    The ascent of Gorbachev to power in the spring of 1985 marked the beginning of the disintegration of the Soviet state and the demise of the driving force behind it – the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU). Once in power, Gorbachev proclaimed the policy of so-called perestroika, which entailed democratization and economic renewal and advanced the concept of glasnost, which provided for relative freedom of expression as well as an openness and pluralism in public life.

    Little changed in the Soviet Union in the first two years of perestroika. But the introduction of glasnost, which affected in varying...

  5. 2 The Russian Literary Scene
    (pp. 35-57)

    The writer in the former Soviet Union was not only a creative artist, but simultaneously also a historian, philosopher, sociologist, politician, and student of human relations. Since the media and daily press were in no position to satisfy the thirst of the people for information and knowledge, it was the role of imaginative prose to lift thematic taboos, provide a critique of social institutions, and question the ethical values of society in general. All that amounted to indirect scrutiny of the workings of Soviet institutions, and of the leadership of the Communist Party. It was natural, therefore, that the government...

  6. 3 The Old Guard
    (pp. 58-84)

    The years between 1989 and 1994 have witnessed the demise of many important literary figures connected with the Soviet literary past. Among those departed are V. Kaverin (1902–1989); S. Dangulov (1912–1989); V.S. Pikul’ (1928–1990); the former editor ofDruzhba narodov, S. Baruzdin (1926–1991); the former chairman of the USSR Writers’ Union, G. Markov (1911–1991); A. Strugatskii (1925–1991); G. Semenov (1931–1992); Iu. Semenov (1931–1993); V. Kondrat’ev (1920–1993); A. Chakovskii (1913–1994); I. Stadniuk (1920–1994); and Iu. Nagibin (1920–1994). Other established writers of the older generation, who are today over sixty,...

  7. 4 The Intermediate Generation
    (pp. 85-117)

    The writers of the intermediate generation form a disparate group of individuals with different thematic, ideological, and artistic interests. Born in the late 1930s and 1940s, they grew in the shadow of Stalinism and matured in the days of the Brezhnev stagnation. They were too young to experience in full measure the effects of the Second World War, and their education and upbringing were influenced by the Soviet totalitarian myth. Over the years, they witnessed disparity between the communist doctrine and the realities of daily life in the Soviet Union, and many turned into cynics. Hence, their cultural, religious, and...

  8. 5 The New Writers of Perestroika
    (pp. 118-202)

    Glasnost and perestroika, followed by the abolition of censorship and the disintegration of the USSR, have opened the way for a number of new names on the Russian literary scene. Some of them are the product of perestroika and belong to the younger generation; others are mature writers, previously unable to escape the vigilant scrutiny of censors and editors. Still others managed to publish something many years ago, then disappeared from sight for years. Many new authors have simply been hiding in the underground and writing ‘for the drawer.’ These writers belong to different age groups and work in a...

  9. 6 Conclusion
    (pp. 203-206)

    December 1991 marks the date of the dissolution of the Soviet Union and the creation of the Commonwealth of Independent States, composed of former Soviet republics. It denotes the beginning of transition from communist dictatorship to democracy, and from a planned economy to a free market. In December 1993, Russia adopted a new constitution, which marks the formal end of communist-Soviet rule in the country. Adjustment to life after communism is proving to be a traumatic experience. The process of change is painful. It is identified with ideological squabbles; economic and political instability; the disintegration of former social, cultural and...

  10. Notes
    (pp. 207-222)
  11. Selected Bibliography
    (pp. 223-234)
  12. Index
    (pp. 235-245)