In a Wonderland They Lie? Today’s Russia: A Testimony of the New Soviet Enthusiasm in the 1930s by August Cesarec

Ivana Peruško

Abstract


This article examines a set of ego-documents (Today’s Russia by A. Cesarec) to pose a question: does the paradigm of fear in Stalin’s 1930s exclude the paradigm of enthusiasm? Have the memories of the horrors and fears of the Great Terror and the Gulag era erased the memory of the enthusiastic atmosphere and happiness of the Soviet Golden Age? Cesarec’s Today’s Russia evokes the same skepticism which, according to Kuromiya, Western historiography held towards Soviet memoirs on their exploits and successes in the 1930s, labelling them as Soviet propaganda, i.e. historically improbable material, lakirovka or fraud. The main task of this article is to decipher, i.e. to reconstruct, Cesarec’s image of the ‘facts of the epoch’, as Iurii Lotman put it in his book Within Thinking Worlds.


Keywords


Testimonies of Russian visitors; Soviet Enthusiasm of the 1930s; Lotman’s facts of the epoch; Today’s Russia; August Cesarec

Full Text:

PDF

References


Applebaum, Аnne. 2004. Gulag: A History (New York: Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group).

Balina, Marina, and Evgenii Dobrenko (eds). 2009. Petrified Utopia: Happiness Soviet Style (London: Anthem Press).

Blium, Arlen. 2000. Sovetskaia tsenzura v epokhu total’nogo terrora, 1929-1953 (St Petersburg: Akademicheskii proekt).

Cesаrec, August. 1982. Današnja Rusija i drugi putopisi po Sovjetskom Savezu. Vol. 18 of Sabrana djela. (Zagreb: Mladost).

Ciliga, Ante. 2007. U zemlji velike laži (Zagreb: Ceres).

Clark, Katerina. 2009. ‘The “New Moscow” and the “New Happiness”: Architecture as a Nodal Point in the Stalinist System of Value’ in Petrified Utopia: Happiness Soviet Style ed. by Marina Balina and Evgenii Dobrenko (London: Anthem Press), 189–200.

Clark, Katerina. 2011. Moscow, the Fourth Rome: Stalinism, Cosmopolitanism, and the Evolution of Soviet Culture, 1931-1941 (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press).

Derrida, Jacques. 1993. ‘Back from Moscow, in the USSR’ in Politics, Theory, and Contemporary Culture ed. by Mark Poster (New York: Columbia University Press), 197–235.

Dobrenko, Evgenii. 1997. Formovka sovetkogo chitatelia. Sotsial’nye i esteticheskie predposylki retseptsii sovetskoi literatury (St Petersburg: Akademicheskii proekt).

Dobrenko, Evgenii. 1999. Formovka sovetskogo pisatelia. Sotsial’nye i esteticheskie istoki sovetskoi literaturnoi kul'tury (St Petersburg: Akademicheskii proekt).

Dobrenko, Evgenii. 2020. Late Stalinism: The Aesthetics of Politics (New Haven: Yale University Press).

Fitzpatrick, Sheila. 1999. Everyday Stalinism: Ordinary Life in Extraordinary Times: Soviet Russia in the 1930s (Oxford: Oxford University Press).

Giunter, Hans, and Evgenii Dobrenko (eds). 2000. Sotsrealisticheskii kanon. Sbornik statei (St Petersburg: Akademicheskii proekt).

Groys, Boris. 1988. Gesamtkunstwerk Stalin: die gespaltene Kultur in der Sowjetunion (Munich: Hanser).

Khmel’nitskii, Dmitrii. 2007. Zodchii Stalin (Moscow: Novoe literaturnoe obozrenie).

Klark, Katerina. 2002. Sovetskii roman. Istoria kak ritual [accessed 20 February 2020].

Kuromiya, Hiroaki. 1985. ‘Soviet Memoirs as Historical Source’, Russian History, 12(2/4): 293–326.

Lotman, Iurii. 2004. ‘Vnutri mysliashchih mirov’ in Semiosfera (St Petersburg: Iskusstvo), 150–389.

Naiman, Eric. 1999. Sex in Public: The Incarnation of Early Soviet Ideology (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press).

Naiman, Еric, and Evgenii Dobrenko (eds). 2003. The Landscape of Stalinism: The Art and Ideology of Soviet Space. Studies in Modernity and National Identity (Seattle: University of Washington Press).

Papernyi, Vladimir. 2016. Kul’tura 2 (Moscow: Novoe literaturnoe obozrenie).

Peruško Vindakijević, Ivana. 2018. Od Oktobra do otpora. Mit o sovjetsko-jugoslavenskom bratstvu u Hrvatskoj i Rusiji kroz književnost, karikaturu i film. 1917.–1991 (Zagreb: Fraktura).

Ryklin, Mikhail. 2009. Kommunizm kak religia: Intellektualy i Oktiabr’skaia revoliutsiia (Moscow: Novoe literaturnoe obozrenie).

Ryklin, Мikhail. 2003. ‘The Best in the World. The Discourse of the Moscow Metro of the 1930s’, in The Landscape of Stalinism: The Art and Ideology of Soviet Space. Studies in Modernity and National Identity ed. by Eric Naiman and Evgenii Dobrenko (Seattle: University of Washington Press), 261–277.

Turovskaia, Maia. 2015. Zuby drakona. Moi 30-e gody (Moscow: AST, Corpus).




DOI: https://doi.org/10.25430/2281-6992/v9-179-198

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.


Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.


AvtobiografiЯ
Journal on Life Writing and the Representation of the Self in Russian Culture

Dipartimento di Studi Linguistici e Letterari
Via Elisabetta Vendramini 13
35137 PADOVA

ISSN: 2281-6992
Registrazione del Tribunale di Padova 23-04-2013, n. 2326 Registro della Stampa,
Variazione: Tribunale di Padova 27-10-2014, n. 3197 Registro della Stampa.

Licenza Creative Commons

This work is licensed under a Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)

Indexed in:

MLA International Bibliography

The Directory of Open Access Journals

ERIH PLUS