The Cultural Origins of the Socialist Realist Aesthetic: 1890-1934

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September 1999



The past fifteen years have seen an important shift in the way scholars look at Socialist Realism. Where it was seen as a straitjacket imposed by the Stalinist regime, it is now understood to be an aesthetic movement in its own right, one whose internal logic had to be understood if it was to be criticized. International specialists on the subject remain divided, though, over the provenance of Soviet aesthetic ideology, particularly over the role of the artistic avant-garde in its emergence.In this book, Irina Gutkin brings together the best work written on the subject to argue that Socialist Realism encompassed a philosophical world view that marked thinking in the Soviet Union on all levels: political, social, and linguistic. As such, it was an historically organic cultural product arising from the interaction of the utopian projects of the Marxist-Bolshevist political vanguard and the radical modernist artistic avant-garde movements. In the fundamental cultural change of the revolutionary period lasting from 1890s to mid-1930s, these visionary forces favored different means but had common ultimate goals -the creation of a New Ideal World free from material contingency and peopled by a New Humanity of artistic demiurges.Using a wealth of diverse cultural material, Gutkin traces the emergence of central tenets operative in Socialist Realist theory and praxis from Symbolism to pre- and post-revolutionary Futurism, through the 1920s and 1930s, demonstrating the evolution of such concepts as the demand for a supra-Realist art able to transfigure the real world into an Ideal Future, the function of the New Artists as Engineers of the Human Soul, i.e. the creators of the New SovietMan and the New Soviet Everyday, and of the New Love.A solid work of cultural and philosophical analysis, this book will appeal to specialists in twentieth-century Russian literature and culture as well as to cultural historians and general readers who hope to understand o


Gutkin is an assistant professor in the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures at the University of California, Los Angeles.
EAN: 9780810115453
ISBN: 081011545X
Untertitel: 'Studies in Russian Literature'. New. Sprache: Englisch.
Erscheinungsdatum: September 1999
Seitenanzahl: 243 Seiten
Format: gebunden
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