Socialist Realism without Shores

Socialist Realism without Shores

Post-Contemporary Interventions

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Book Pages: 376 Illustrations: 22 b&w photographs, 2 line art images Published: April 1997

Art and Visual Culture, Literature and Literary Studies > Literary Theory

Socialist Realism without Shores offers an international perspective on the aesthetics of socialist realism—an aesthetic that, contrary to expectations, survived the death of its originators and the demise of its original domain. This expanded edition of a special issue of the South Atlantic Quarterly brings together scholars from various parts of the globe to discuss socialist realism as it appears across genres in art, architecture, film, and literature and across geographic divides—from the "center," Russia, to various points at the "periphery"—China, Germany, France, Poland, remote republics of the former USSR, and the United States.
The contributors here argue that socialist realism has never been a monolithic art form. Essays demonstrate, among other things, that its literature could accommodate psychoanalytic criticism; that its art and architecture could affect the aesthetic dictates of Moscow that made "Soviet" art paradoxically heterogeneous; and that its aesthetics could accommodate both high art and crafted kitsch. Socialist Realism without Shores also addresses the critical discourse provoked by socialist realism—Stalinist aesthetics, "anthropological" readings; ideology critique and censorship; and the sublimely ironic approaches adapted from sots art, the Soviet version of postmodernism.

Contributors. Antoine Baudin, Svetlana Boym, Greg Castillo, Katerina Clark, Evgeny Dobrenko, Boris Groys, Hans Günther, Julia Hell, Leonid Heller, Mikhail Iampolski, Thomas Lahusen, Régine Robin, Yuri Slezkine, Lily Wiatrowski Phillips, Xudong Zhang, Sergei Zimovets



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Author/Editor Bios Back to Top

Thomas Lahusen is Associate Professor of Russian and Literature at Duke University and the editor of Late Soviet Culture, also published by Duke University Press. Evgeny Dobrenko is Associate Professor of Russian Literature at Duke University.

Table of Contents Back to Top
Introduction / Thomas Lahusen and Evgeny Dobrenko 1

Socialist Realism in Search of Its Shores: Some Historical Remarks on the "Historically Open Aesthetic System of the Truthful Representation of Life / Thomas Lahusen 5

Socialist Realism with Shores: The Conventions for the Positive Hero / Katerina Clark 27

A World of Prettiness: Socialist Realism and Its Aesthetic Categories / Leonid Heller 51

A Style and a Half: Socialist Realism between Modernism and Postmodernism / Boris Groys 76

Peoples at an Exhibition: Soviet Architecture and the National Question / Greg Castillo 91

Paradoxes of Unified Culture: From Stalin's Fairy Tale to Molotov's Lacquer Box / Svetlana Boym 120

The Disaster of Middlebrow Taste, or, Who "Invented" Socialist Realism? / Evgeny Dobrenko 135

Censorship as the Triumph of Life / Mikhail Iampolski 165

Wise Father Stalin and His Family in Soviet Cinema / Hans Günther 178

Son of the Regiment: Deus ex Machina / Sergei Zimovets 191

Soft-Porn, Kitsch, and Post-Fascist Bodies: The East German Novel of Arrival / Julia Hell 203

"Why is the Soviet Painting Hidden From Us?" Zhdanov Art and Its International Relations and Fallout, 1947–53 / Antoine Baudin 227

W. E. B. Du Bois and Soviet Communism: The Black Flame as Socialist Realism / Lily Wiatrowski Phillips 257

The Power of Rewriting: Postrevolutionary Discourse on Chinese Socialist Realism / Xudong Zhang 282

Primitive Communism and the Other Way Around / Yuri Slezkine 310

The Past as a Dustbin, or, The Phantoms of Socialist Realism / Régine Robin 337

Index 357

Notes on Contributors 367
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Paper ISBN: 978-0-8223-1941-2 / Cloth ISBN: 978-0-8223-1935-1
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