This provocative work takes issue with the idea that Socialist Realism was mainly the creation of party leaders and was imposed from above on the literati who lived and worked under the Soviet regime. Evgeny Dobrenko, a leading expert on Soviet literature, argues instead--and offers persuasive evidence--that the aesthetic theories underpinning Socialist Realism arose among the writers themselves, born of their proponents' desire for power in the realm of literary policymaking. Accordingly, Dobrenko closely considers the evolution of these theories, deciphering the power relations and social conditions that helped to shape them.
In chapters on Proletkult, RAPP, LEF, and Pereval, Dobrenko reexamines the theories generated by these major Marxist literary groupings of the early Soviet Union. He shows how each approached the problems of literature's response to the presumed social mandate of the young communist society, and how Socialist Realism emerged as a conglomerate of these earlier, revolutionary theories. With extensive and detailed reference to supporting testimony and documents, Dobrenko clearly demonstrates how Socialist Realism was created from within the revolutionary culture, and how this culture and its disciples fully participated in this creative process. His work represents a major breakthrough in our current understanding of the complex sources that contributed to early Soviet culture.
After Hitler, Before Stalin examines the crucial postwar period in Slovakia, following Nazi occupation and ending with the Communist coup of February1948. Centering his work around the major political role of the Catholic Church and its leaders, James Ramon Felak offers a fascinating study of the interrelationship of Slovak Catholics, Democrats, and Communists. He provides an in-depth examination of Communist policies toward Catholics and their strategies to court Catholic voters, and he chronicles the variety of political stances Catholics maintained during Slovakia's political turmoil.
Felak opens by providing a background on pre-war and wartime Slovak politics, notably the rise of Slovak Catholic nationalism and Slovakia's alignment with Nazi Germany during World War II. He then describes the union formed in the famed “April Agreement” of 1946 between the Democratic Party and Catholics that guaranteed a landslide victory for the Democrats and insured a position for Catholics in the new regime. Felak views other major political events of the period, including: the 1947 Czechoslovak war crimes trial of Father Jozef Tiso; education policy; the treatment of the Hungarian minority; the trumped-up “anti-state conspiracy” movement led by police in the Fall of 1947; and the subsequent Communist putsch.
Through extensive research in Slovak national archives, including those of the Democratic and Communist parties, After Hitler, Before Stalin assembles a comprehensive study of the predominant political forces and events of this tumultuous period and the complex motivations behind them.
The “Silver Age” (c. 1890-1917) has been one of the most intensely studied topics in Russian literary studies, and for years scholars have been struggling with its precise definition. Firmly established in the Russian cultural psyche, it continues to influence both literature and mass media. The Archaeology of Anxiety is the first extended analysis of why the Silver Age occupies such prominence in Russian collective consciousness.
Galina Rylkova examines the Silver Age as a cultural construct-the byproduct of an anxiety that permeated society in reaction to the social, political, and cultural upheavals brought on by the Bolshevik Revolution, the fall of the Romanovs, the Civil War, and Stalin's Great Terror. Rylkova's astute analysis of writings by Anna Akhmatova, Vladimir Nabokov, Boris Pasternak and Victor Erofeev reveals how the construct of the Silver Age was perpetuated and ingrained.
Rylkova explores not only the Silver Age's importance to Russia's cultural identity but also the sustainability of this phenomenon. In so doing, she positions the Silver Age as an essential element to Russian cultural survival.
Armenia: A Historical Atlas
Robert H. Hewsen University of Chicago Press, 2001 Library of Congress G2164.61.S1H4 2001 | Dewey Decimal 911.4756
From its conversion to Christianity to the Genocide during World War I, from the Soviet occupation to its recent independence, Armenia has seen a long and often turbulent history. In the magnificent Armenia: A Historical Atlas, Robert H. Hewsen traces Armenia's rich past from ancient times to the present day through more than two hundred full-color maps packed with information about physical geography, demography, and sociopolitical, religious, cultural, and linguistic history.
Hewsen has divided the maps into five sections, each of which begins with a chronology of important dates and a historical introduction to the period. Specialized maps include Ptolemy's second-century map of Armenia, as well as maps of Roman, Cilician, Ottoman, tsarist, and Soviet Armenia. Other maps show the Persian khanate of Erevan, the Caucasian campaigns of World War I, the Armenian Genocide, the Armenian monuments in Turkey and Transcaucasia, the worldwide diaspora, ground plans of selected cities, and plans of the great monastery of Echmiadzin in 1660, 1890, and 1990. The atlas concludes with maps portraying the Karabagh war and the new Armenian Republic, and an extensive bibliography compiles references to the vast historical, ethnological, and travel literature on the region.
The first comprehensive and authoritative atlas of any of the former Soviet republics, this book does not treat Armenia in isolation, but instead sets it within the context of Caucasia as a whole, providing detailed information on neighboring regions such as Georgia and Azerbaijan. Armenia: A Historical Atlas will be an essential reference and an important teaching tool for generations to come.
Edited by Yves Bonnefoy University of Chicago Press, 1993 Library of Congress BL1005.D5313 1993 | Dewey Decimal 291.13095
These 130 articles explore mythologies in societies from India to Japan. Among the many topics are Buddhist and Hindu symbolic systems, myth in pre-Islamic Iran, Indonesian rites of passage, Chinese cosmology and demons, and Japanese conceptions of the afterlife and the "vital spirit." The mythological traditions of Turkey, Korea, Tibet, and Mongolia are also included.
"The almost 100 contributors combine, with characteristic precision and élan, the arts of science and poetry, of analysis and translation. The result is a treasury of information, brilliant guesswork, witty asides, and revealing digressions. This is a work of genuine and enduring excitement."—Thomas D'Evelyn, Christian Science Monitor
Slovak nationalist sentiment has been a constant presence in the history of Czechoslovakia, coming to head in the torrent of nationalism that resulted in the dissolution of the Republic on January 1, 1993. James Felak examines a parallel episode in the 1930s with Slovak nationalists achieved autonomy for Slovakia-but “at the price” of the loss of East Central Europe's only parliamentary democracy and the strengthening of Nazi power.
The tensions between Czechs and Slovaks date back to the creation of Czechoslovakia in 1918. Slovaks, who differed sharply in political tradition, social and economic development, and culture, and resented being governed by a centralized administration run from the Czech capital of Prague, formed the Slovak People's Party, led by Roman Catholic priest Ankrej Hlinka. Drawing heavily on Czech and Slovak archives, Felak provides a balanced history of the party, offering unprecedented insight into intraparty factionalism and behind-the-scenes maneuvering surrounding SSP's policy decisions.
On the day that Paris fell to the Nazis, R. G. Waldeck was checking into the swankiest hotel in Bucharest, the Athene Palace. A cosmopolitan center during the war, the hotel was populated by Italian and German oilmen hoping to secure new business opportunities in Romania, international spies cloaked in fake identities, and Nazi officers whom Waldeck discovered to be intelligent but utterly bloodless. A German Jew and a reporter for Newsweek, Waldeck became a close observer of the Nazi invasion. As King Carol first tried to placate the Nazis, then abdicated the throne in favor of his son, Waldeck was dressing for dinners with diplomats and cozying up to Nazi officers to get insight and information. From her unique vantage, she watched as Romania, a country with a pro-totalitarian elite and a deep strain of anti-Semitism, suffered civil unrest, a German invasion, and an earthquake, before turning against the Nazis.
A striking combination of social intimacy and disinterest political analysis, Athene Palace evokes the elegance and excitement of the dynamic international community in Bucharest before the world had comes to grips with the horrors of war and genocide. Waldeck’s account strikingly presents the finely wrought surface of dinner parties, polite discourse, and charisma, while recognizing the undercurrents of violence and greed that ran through the denizens of Athene Palace.