This special theme focuses on the relation between realism and social or socialist realism from different angles and with examples from different countries. It consists of contributions from eight scholars who took part in the workshop: Sven-Olov Wallenstein, Karin Grelz, Aleksei Semenenko, Susanna Witt, Marcia Sá Cavalcante Schuback, Epp Lankots, and Charlotte Bydler and Dan Karlholm.
Following the 1934 establishment of socialist realism as the main “method” to be applied in all spheres of Soviet artistic production, more particular discourses evolved addressing the issue of how the concept was to be interpreted and defined in the various fields of culture. Literary translation was no exception. This paper explores the significance of the discourse on socialist realism for Soviet translation practices and translation theory during late Stalinism.
Arkadii Gaidar (1904–1941) is one of the most popular Soviet children’s writers and an undisputed part of the Soviet literary canon. The Pioneer organization used him as a symbol to mold young Soviet citizens, the characters from his books entered Soviet folklore, and generations of Soviet children have been brought up on his books. Nonetheless, his path from military commander to a classic of Soviet literature was far from ordinary. This paper reviews Gaidar’s work, focusing especially on the analysis of his short story The Blue Cup as the most representative of his oeuvre and of the political and literary context of the 1930s.
The aim of this article is to show to what extent Nabokov’s relations to the two phenomena Soviet art and cinematic art were interrelated and subtly intertwined. Focusing on a cinematic scene in Nabokov’s first novel, Mary (1926), the analysis traces how the themes of cinematic deception techniques and mimetic violence are developed by Nabokov. It is shown how cinematic effects in Nabokov addresses the violence inherent in socialist realist aesthetics: political censorship and manipulation on the one hand, and the programmatic extinction of artists labeled as “bourgeois” on the other.
Jukka Gronow and Sergey Zhuravlev, Fashion Meets Socialism, Fashion Industry in the Soviet Union after the Second World War Helsinki: Finnish Literature Society, 2015 303 pages
Benedikts Kalnačs, 20th Century Baltic Drama: Postcolonial Narratives, Decolonial Options, Bielefeld: Aisthesis, 2016. 235 pages
At a symposium in March 2015, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Andrej Kotljarchuk presented the results of an ongoing research project “The Roma Genocide in Ukraine 1941-1944: History, memories and representations”.
The evolution of political contacts between exile activists in Sweden and the occupied homeland sheds light on the largely underresearched phenomenon of anticommunist cooperation between capitalist and communist societies and challenges the narrative of the impermeability of the “Iron Curtain” between the Soviet Union and the West.
+ Cecilia Notini Burch, A Cold War Pursuit: Soviet Refugees in Sweden, 1945–54. Stockholm: Santérus Academic Press Sweden, 2014. 359 pages.
Communism has failed, not only on political and economic, but especially on moral grounds, the author claims; "Every communist state was a far cry from the paradise the doctrine proposed.".