The new discursive formation of literature under communist rule: From the silver age to socialist realism
Title: The new discursive formation of literature under communist rule: From the silver age to socialist realism
Author: VIRBAN, Floarea
Citation: Florence, European University Institute, 2007
Series/Number: EUI PhD theses; Department of History and Civilization
The primary aim of this thesis is to question how, and the extent to which, the implementation of Communist rule in Russia influenced the new discursive formation of literature. The latter refers to the complex process of continuous transformation of the literary discourse due to the interaction of a heterogeneous set of factors (such as theories, works, institutions, practices, policies, agents, instruments and many others). This transformation concerns not only those trends, theories, policies, or practices, which emerged from within the Marxist-Bolshevik framework and culminated with the appearance of Socialist Realism, but also those which developed outside of this framework and, thus, ‘ignored’, challenged or opposed it. Moreover, it considers those shifts which occurred because of the tension created between these two challenging paradigms, as well as due to a continuous striving for mutual accommodation. In chronological terms, the analysis broadly deals with the years between the 1890s and the 1930s, while focusing more specifically on the 1920s- 1930s. This study attempts to go beyond the ‘orthodox’ analysis of the literary discourse, by transcending literary studies. Such a strategy has a dual purpose. On the one hand it intends to present a deeper understanding of the literary phenomenon, by seeing it in connection with a cultural and intellectual tradition, as well as part of a defined historical reality. On the other hand, it aims to contribute to the study of this tradition and of the historical context of the literary discourse being analysed. Broadly, this analysis aims to show the way in which the political power of the Communist ideology was challenged by the strength of the literary world.
LC Subject Heading: Russian literature -- 20th century; Russian literature -- History and criticism
Defence date: 15 June 2007; Examining board: Prof. Dr. Edward Arfon Rees (EUI-supervisor) ; Prof. Dr. Martin Van Gelderen (EUI) ; Prof. Dr. Gian Piero Piretto (Milan University) ; Prof. Dr. Vera Tolz (Manchester University)
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