Vladimir Sappak’s humanism on Soviet TV
Title: Vladimir Sappak’s humanism on Soviet TV
Author: KHAZANOV, Pavel
Series/Number: EUI MWP; 2018/04
In his writings, the first Soviet critic of television, Vladimir Sappak (1921-1961) associates the new mass medium with a political vision typical of Soviet intelligentsia in the Thaw era: the project of transcendence of Stalinism and its legacy. This project had to be pursued within the context of Soviet Party censorship, which made it difficult to articulate what post-Stalinism would entail. My paper analyzes Sappak’s understanding of television’s sincerity– a key attribute of the medium, according to his influential monograph, Television and Us (1963, published posthumously). I argue that Sappak’s TV sincerity in fact articulates an understanding of Soviet humanism, which, I claim, was a culturally important post-Stalinist mass ideology, whose boundaries and effects were negotiated in a contest between the Party state, the creative and scientific intelligentsia, and the urbanized, educated, TV-watching Soviet consumer masses.
Subject: USSR; Thaw; Sincerity; Intelligentsia; Destalinization
Type of Access: openAccess