The Russian Avant-garde Children’s Book and the Ecology of Art Historical Enquiry
This article is a polemics on the methodology of research in historical inquiry discussing recent publications in the domain of early Soviet children’s books. The study of this material has gained momentum in recent years. Scholars use this material for many reasons: demonstration of the new facets of the Russian Avant-garde, investigation of peculiarities of the Soviet childhood, or for deconstruction of the subtle way of indoctrination of the first generation of the Soviet kids and construction of the New Man (as in my own book which happened to be the first English-language monograph on the subject of Soviet picture-books). The article problematizes the limits of the usage of the trendy theories (or their buzzwords – like “disempowerment”) for writing on the material which cannot be easily matched with these theories. It discusses broad methodological issues: the applicability of fashionable theories to a given subject matter and where-when-how the popular agenda turns into tendentiousness and distortion of facts.
This article examines the intellectual genealogy of a central tenet of contemporary nationalist discourse in Tajikistan, namely, the Aryan myth as the idea of the Tajiks’ Aryan descent. The origins of this myth are dis- covered in Late Imperial Russia. Over the rst decades of the twentieth century, through the early Soviet period, the Tajik Aryan myth would transform from a narrative legitimizing Russian imperial rule to a myth of Tajik national identity. The article shows how Tajikistan’s imagining and formation as a nation-state was inextricably linked to the Aryan myth and to the way it was articulated by imperial scholars-turned-Soviet oriental- ists, such as Aleksandr Aleksandrovich Semenov (1873–1958). Taking the microhistorical perspective of a single life allows the author to highlight the local Central Asian dynamics of the complex imperial situation that paved the way to and accompanied Bolshevik nationalities policy. As a scholar with a certain political weight, Semenov managed to exploit the leeway for action in accordance with his own research interests (rather than acting as a mere instrument of the imperial and Soviet regimes in Central Asia). Consequently, the article argues that the process of delimiting borders and identities in 1920s Central Asia was in uenced not only by Moscow-based Bolsheviks and leading Central Asian Muslim political gures but also by Russian orientalists as distinctive historical actors.
The article highlights the role and the place of Hokusai Manga (15 volumes, 1814-1878) in the history of Chinese and Japanese picture-books.
This book explores the phenomenon of Hokusai Manga (fifteen volumes of 60 pp. each, 1814-75). It consists of a historical and conceptual Introduction and the main part which is a full commentary to all HM pages. The Introduction consists of research on the modes of creation of HM and its place in the history of Japanese picture-books and research on HM’s composition.
The main part includes translations of introductions to each volume and commentaries on the original 900 pages with their nearly 4,000 images
This chapter compares the Soviet and the Western children’s books of the 1920s–1930s. The creative output of the Soviet innovative artists and writers was in many respects isomorphic to the production of the modernist left artists and educators in the West. The various kinds of formal experiments in the sphere of visual representation are considered in detail. An important topic that is investigated is the “production book”, the genre of children’s books about machines and about how things are made. It corresponds with the idea of “here and now” proclaimed by the American educator Lucy Sprague Mitchell. A special emphasis is placed on the demonstration of similarities in the concepts of the New Man (Soviet) and the New Generation (American).
In 1923–1924 the Bolshevik Party experienced political conflict that took the form of a public confrontation between two trends related to issues of intra-party practice and economic policies. This essay examines the Left Opposition in the Bolshevik party, which is widely known as the Trotskyist Opposition; yet was not a unified faction led by Lev Trotsky, but a heterogeneous and informal movement in support of democratic reform in the party. The problem of party, government, and economic leadership led to friction and then a split in the party in 1926–1928. The majority of the Central Committee and the Opposition became the ideological and organizational core of the trends which combined into stable or situational coalitions.
Children’s Literature and the Avant-Garde is the first study that investigates the intricate influence of the avant-garde movements on children’s literature in different countries from the beginning of the 20th century until the present. Examining a wide range of children’s books from Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, the Netherlands, Russia, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the USA, the individual chapters explore the historical as well as the cultural and political aspects that determine the exceptional character of avant-garde children’s books. Drawing on studies in children’s literature research, art history, and cultural studies, this volume provides comprehensive insights into the close relationships between avant-garde children’s literature, images of childhood, and contemporary ideas of education. Addressing topics such as the impact of exhibitions, the significance of the Bauhaus, and the influence of poster art and graphic design, the book illustrates the broad range of issues associated with avant-garde children’s books. More than 60 full-color illustrations demonstrate the impressive variety of design in avant-garde picturebooks and children’s books.
The author of the review shows the main problems posed in the work of the historian Alexander šubin. How was the Soviet power formed? Who helped the Bolsheviks? Why did not the coalition of left forces take place? Why did the Civil War begin?
This book critically examines the Left Opposition in the Bolshevik party. This group, which is widely known as the “Trotskyist Opposition”, began to form in 1923–1924, when the Party experienced a severe political conflict that took the form of a public confrontation between two political trends related to issues of intra-party practice and economic policies. These problems of party and government leadership led to the friction and then split the party in 1926–1928. Already by 1923 the majority of members of both the Central Committee and the Opposition had become the ideological and organizational cores of their respective groups, which then combined into stable or situational coalitions. In examining these processes, the author addresses key issues of the Soviet political history of the 1920s.
The book draws on significant new archival research and offers an anthropological approach to understanding the political culture of the Early Soviet era. Moving beyond conventional explanations of the struggle for power in the USSR, the author focuses not only on the Leon Trotsky and his primary foes from the Party (Stalin, Zinoviev and others), but also reconstructing the opposition as the complex phenomena, which exposes how broad political communication functioned in the limited space of the Soviet politics.
The author reconsiders the main reasons and phases of the intra-party struggle, political views and individual roles of the oppositionists, in order to explain why the Opposition failed. Focusing not only on the traditional subjects of political history, such as leaders, power apparatus and program texts, the author reveals the rank-and-file’s role, as well as the instrumentations, meanings and tactics of their “grass-root” politics. The author’s approach allows readers to look beyond the dichotomies of open and closed, the upper and lower classes, formal and informal, and so on, drawing our attention not only to the relations between democracy and conflicts but also to rumors and secrecy, clientelism, and emotions.
Such analysis is possible because the political opposition of 1923–1924 was heterogeneous in composition, and informal in organizing support for reform in the party. In a practical sense, there were two oppositions — the leaders’ opposition and the masses' opposition — and, correspondingly, oppositions within the party among the elites and among the rank and file. Members of this coalition were united situationally as a result of their critical attitude toward party policy and more resolute support for "democratization" of the inner-party regime. As a result, the opposition was largely an abstract concept; its image was a shaky and sometimes elusive phantom. Being independent of its founders, its numerous actors constantly reconstructed the political spectacle of which they were a part.
The history of the Opposition makes it possible to take a fresh look at the features of policy in the first decade of Soviet power. Through such analysis, this work argues that policy cannot be reduced to the actions of the power elites or the impersonal mechanism of the party-state.
On the occasion of Doha being a cultural capital of the Middle East in 2010 and Istanbul being a cultural capital of Europe, Doha Orientalist museum is holding a symbolic exhibition “A Journey into the World of the Ottomans”, accompanied by a catalogue. Major part of the illustrated exhibition artworks are to come from the Orientalist museum own collection, the Rijksmuseum, as well as other major collections. The exhibition will bring together artists from the sixteenth century onwards, including Bernardino Campi, Jacopo Ligozzi, Nicolas Rycks, Jean-Baptiste Vanmour, Jean-Étienne Liotard, Antoine Ignace Melling, Francesco Hayez, John Frederick Lewis, Walter Gould, Alberto Pasini, Germain Fabius Brest, Oskar Kokoschka, Nikolai Kalmikoff, Vanessa Hodgkinson and Bas Princen. The artworks selected are to illustrate the history of the orientalism development from the sixteenth to twenty first century, which throughout the years shaped the image of the Ottoman world in Europe, covering different genres of orientalist art. - See more at: http://www.skira.net/a-journey-into-the-world-of-the-ottomans.html?___store=en&___from_store=default#sthash.V8N9Mye4.dpuf
The article is devoted to the formation of the image of the pre-revolutionary history of Russia on the example of Yuri Tarich's film Wings of Serf (1926). In the first post-revolutionary decade, there was a departure from previous standards in the image of national history. Authors searched for new forms of screen representations of past events. Although the film inherits the tradition of depicting the king as a murderer and tyrant, the creators – director Yuri Tarich and screenwriter Victor Shklovsky – tried to transfer on screen revolutionary understanding of history. The film is influenced
by historical theory of Mikhail Pokrovsky, and Shklovsky introduced the economic element in the scenario as the main engine of the plot.
The avant-garde figures who came to cinema (Shklovsky, first of all, was a literary critic) came up with the rules of screenwriting craft on the go and challenged the boundaries of cinema's possibilities in practice. The purpose of Wings of Serf’s screenplay was to move away from the one-sided image of Ivan the Terrible and determine his actions as of economic basis. Shklovsky and Tarich developed the idea of the revolutionary remaking of the image of the past in their next work, the film version of Captain's Daughter.
The article covers the history of foreign screenings of Wings of Serf, focusing on the history of censorship bans and re-editing of the film for USA. The author shows in the article the possible influence of Wings of Serf on Ivan the Terrible by Sergei Eisenstein, which is implicitly present in both artistic and plot terms.
Despite success and foreign distribution, the movie was visually traditional, realistic, and researchers considered, most often, as the prologue before radical change of the relation to Ivan the Terrible in the thirties. The article shows how filmmakers of the first decade after the revolution used to work with historical material.
This collection of essays was published in a form of a catalogue for one of the propgrams screened at the Yamagata International Documentary Film Fstival in October 2019. The program entitled "The Creative Treatment of Grierson in Wartime Japan" was co-organized by the Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival and the National Film Archive of Japan and presented a broad variety of wartime Japanese documentaries as well as British and Soviet films that have influenced them. The collection of essays explores the development of wartime Japanese documentary cinema from variety of historical and theoretical perspectives.
The paper examines a rare explored phenomenon of Soviet cover design –a number of official releases produced by the only recording concern Melodija on the one hand, and so-called “tape-albums” became widespread among underground people in the late Soviet Union, on another.