glyph 242: history . Russia . Bulgakov, Platonov, Mandelstam, and Akmatova . people worth knowing about ... art, culture, literature, music ... obligatory rules for artists, socialist realism, the consoling lie, Gorky


Heroes of the Russian Revolution

Writers Who Resisted the Party in the 1930's

From Utopia in Power, by Mikhail Heller and Aleksandr Nekrich, (Russian, 1982, French, 1982, English 1985) pages 274-75:

After abolishing all literary trends and associations, Stalin wanted to see the establishment of a single writer's organization under the firm control of the party and state. It was partly to accomplish this task that he placed Gorky in charge of all Soviet culture. At the First Congress of Soviet Writers in the summer of 1934, Gorky coped marvelously with this task. He introduced a new obligatory literary style, an "artistic method" that soon became obligatory in all cultural fields: "socialist realism." This was the method of the consoling lie, which Gorky said was necessary to create a "new reality."


The First Soviet Writer's Congress completed the process of nationalizing literature, begun after the October revolution. The Congress approved the Central Committee's decision to establish a single organization for all writers, the Soviet Writer's Union, under the direction of a representative of the Central Committee, Aleksandr Shcherbakov. One could count on the fingers of one hand the writers who did not take the oath of loyalty to the party: Bulgakov, Platonov, Mandelstam, and Akmatova.
entered before July 9, 2006

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