Тыняновский сборник, выпуск 15 (17-е и 18-е Тыняновские чтения)
Articles on Russian literature and the history of the Soviet period; memoirs; first published archival materials
Pкeface and commentary, accompanying the publication of a historical document - a letter by Vil I.Zeifman addressed to supervising party bodies, that demands full rehabilitation; the author of the letter was repressed in 1949 after he had organised the industrial production of penicillin in the USSR; among the persons with whom Zeifman has had professional contacts, are mentioned, in particular, E. Chain and A. Mikoyan; comments are based on the materials from the family archive and personal file of V. I. Zeifman in the archives of the FSB.
The novel Doctor Zhivago, first published in 1957, immediately provoked critical debates that continue to this day, and has been the subject of numerous scholarly studies (C. Barnes, B. Gasparov, P. A. Jensen, A. Lavrov. M. Aucouturier, O. Raevsky-Hughes, I. Smirnov, L. Fleishman, Iu. Shcheglov, A. Khan, and many others). On one hand, Boris Pasternak’s positions (founded on his religious historiosophy) with regard to the events, people and situation that he depicts have formed one of the central topics of critical and scholarly contention. On the other hand, it is the specificity of the novel’s poetics and most centrally of its generic identity, the laws of its organization of novelistic time and problems of the prototypes of its central characters, that have served as objects of debate. It is our contention, however, that the choice of genre (that we have defined as being that of “a historical novel of a new type”) was fundamental for Pasternak and determined the entirety of the novel’s poetics. As we will demonstrate, the author was continuing the tradition of Walter Scott, which had been rejected by other contemporary Soviet authors who described the history of the twentieth century. In taking up work on the novel, Pasternak emphasized many times that he desired to present an image of the course of history of the first half of the twentieth century—the “forty- five-year era,” as he named this period several times in his letters. This dissertation describes the author’s search for a means for the artistic embodiment of contemporary events and his final choice of the “Walter Scott tradition” of historical novel for Doctor Zhivago. In this connection the work includes marked reflections of C. Dickens’ Tale of Two Cities, Pushkin’s The Captain’s Daughter and Dubrovsky, and L. Tolstoi’s War and Peace, as well as sharp polemics with historical works of prose fiction by Pasternak’s contemporaries and with the highly ideologically charged Soviet historiography. Separate consideration will be given to the specific events, situations and names that Pasternak considered it necessary to include in his narrative, presenting in this way his own version of a hierarchy of characteristic phenomena of these decades. The dissertation demonstrates that in Doctor Zhivago history is presented simultaneously as a force, organizing the actions of people and forming their characters and world-views, and also as a chain of events to be understood and made meaningful by the protagonists, and finally as an ineluctable law of human existence that has been reestablished by the force of artistic creation—by the poetry of Iurii Zhivago. At the very foundation of the Zhivago’s poetry lay the ideas of his uncle—the philosopher Vedeniapin, who defines history as an element of the Christian comprehension of the world. The central place of these characters in the novel defines the nature of Pasternak’s techniques with prototypes, by which he embeds into his characters the views, characteristics and fates of various of his contemporaries (A. Bely, A. Blok, D. Samarin, the author himself, and others). We also propose explanation of the work’s many anachronisms, which become a means for communication of the laws of the post-revolutionary period (1917-1943)—a period that “fell” out of history. At the same time we will show how historical time is reestablished in the Epilogue that completes the novel and in the “Poems of Doctor Zhivago.” This dissertation may be characterized as interdisciplinary. In it, the methods of literary- historical and intertextual analysis are applied. The text is examined in relation to social, cultural and historical phenomena of Russia during the first half of the twentieth century.
This is a review of two recent books on Leon Trotsky, one of the most prominent Russian revolutionary leaders and an ardent critic of Stalin. The review analyses the main arguments of both books as well as their contribution to the study of Trotsky's personality and political legacy.
How and for whom pisalis "Conduit" and "Shvambraniya"
A major contribution to the growing literature on Soviet nationality policy. David Brandenberger frames his study with a large and important question: the generation of a Russian/Soviet national identity during the Stalinist years. He tells the important story of the production of a more nationalist world view and how it was received, moving from elites to the masses. Focusing on history and historians, Brandenberger links historiography with nation-making and state building. This work should be widely read, not least because it clearly and eloquently illuminates the painful process of forging national identity. (Ronald Grigor Suny, University of Chicago) Brandenberger alters our understanding of how Soviet culture was created and how it held Soviet society together. Perhaps the greatest strength of the book is the foundation of documents on which it rests. Clearly the result of years of gathering, these documents show us Stalinism as received, as a set of social practices and discourses in constant revision and misuse. National Bolshevism illuminates broader debates about the functioning of Soviet society, the origins of national consciousness, and the formation of the subject with the modern state, and will be a widely read contribution to the field. (James von Geldern, Macalester College)