Повесть М. Бременера «Пусть не сошлось с ответом!» (1956) и программа обновления педагогики и литературы в советском обществе начала «оттепели»
Based on extensive archival research, the article analyzes the forgotten work of the mid-1950s, a novella by Max Bremener, Let it Not Match the Answer! Published in the most exciting moment of the “Thaw” era (November, 1956), this novella can be considered as a reflection of and response to the earlier (1953-1954) discussions on the problem of “deception and truth” in children’s literature. Bremener radically transformed the very genre of the “school novella”, although he did not succeed in his search for the appropriate literary form, which could have encompassed harsh social critique of the Soviet school system as an institution in crisis. Nevertheless, the novella provides us with the very interesting material for evaluating the current crisis in Russian education.
The ideology of Russian nationalism within the USSR and its development, together with the movements that gave rise to it, appear to have been studied fairly thoroughly. Research began with Mikhail Agurskii’s classic Ideology of National Bolshevism and has been advanced by Andreas Umland, David Brandenberger, Yitzhak Brudny, Nikolai Mitrokhin, Marlène Laruelle, Viktor Shnirel´man, and others. Two aspects of the problem, however, require further investigation: the prerevolutionary roots of the Soviet Union’s nationalist movements and the interrelationship between modernizing and antimodernizing tendencies within those movements.
Both aspects can be addressed by investigating a significant sociocultural movement—the history of the All-Russian Choral Society (Vserossiiskoe khorovoe obshchestvo, VKhO)—which has heretofore been ignored by historians of Russian nationalism in the post-Stalinist period and has hardly been touched upon by social historians of Russia. This neglect can primarily be attributed to scholars’ preoccupation with writers, literary journals, and publishing houses and, somewhat less frequently, with artists and the communities they belonged to. Music has barely been addressed, except for pathbreaking investigations by Laura Olson, Susannah Lockwood Smith, and, for the period prior to Stalin’s death, Marina Frolova-Walker.
In this article I trace the history of the developmental movement for Russian choral singing in the framework of the All-Russian Choral Society, which was founded in 1957, remained in operation until 1987, and was unexpectedly resurrected in 2013. I reconstruct the prerevolutionary genesis of the Society’s guiding principles, their deep transformation under the influence of modernizing and antimodernizing elements in its ideology and institutional praxis, drawing on its organizers’ writings and their biographies. As the sources show, the All-Russian Choral Society should be understood as an aesthetic and sociological project, one that dovetailed with the state’s cultural politics in the late 1950s and early 1960s, drawing from and contributing to them.
This is the review on the monograph "Moscow 1956: The Silenced Spring" by Kathleen E. Smith.
The article shows that in 1953–1956, Nikita Khrushchev and other members of the KPSU Central Committee tried to regulate ideological and aesthetic diversity in Soviet literature. During these years, horizontal connections began to resume between writers and critics who held different views, but shared hopes for the regeneration of literature. This process of spontaneous social organization became especially intense in the period between the Twentieth Congress of the KPSU and the suppression of the Hungarian Uprising of 1956. The article offers a contextualized interpretation of a previously unknown archival document – minutes of the meeting of the Bureau of the Section for the Literature of Children and Youth of the Soviet Writers’ Union (December 7, 1956). The minutes provide a telling snapshot of the expectations and hopes of both conservative and conformist groups of Soviet writers. They show that these were not only “liberals” but also their opponents in the section who in 1956 considered some form of institutionalization of the competition between those more conservative and those more critical toward the regime groups in Soviet literature. Yet, institutional diversification took another path. Aware of the revolutionary role of the Petőfi Circle organized by writers in Hungary, Khrushchev and other party leaders were determined to establish firm control over the literary sphere in the Soviet Union. Hence any independent initiative was immediately classified negatively as a subversive “group.” In the Soviet political rhetoric of the 1930s–1950s, this word stigmatized any spontaneous associations. The label was actively used during the 1957 discussion of the Literary Moscow almanac, and the following June 1957, the KPSU Central Committee’s plenum that exposed the “anti-party group” of Malenkov, Kaganovich, Molotov, and Shepilov. To be able to control the excessively “liberal” organization of Moscow writers in the situation of an intensified struggle for power among the Soviet leadership, in 1957–1958 Khrushchev initiated the creation of the Union of Russian Writers (RSFSR Writers’ Union) led by Russian ethnonationalists. This move forced them into strategic alliance with Stalinists of the old establishment, and thus turned the potentially dangerous collision between Stalinists and anti-Stalinists into a polemic between pro-imperial nationalists and “liberals.” With some modification, this conflict continued to the end of the Soviet period.
The present article continues the investigation of the Soqotri verbal system undertaken by the Russian-Soqotri fieldwork team. The article focuses on the so-called “weak” and “geminated” roots in the basic stem. The investigation is based on the analysis of full paradigms (perfect, imperfect and jussive) of more than 170 “weak” and “geminated” Soqotri verbs.