Parthé offers a compelling analysis of the power of Russian literature to shape national identity despite sustained efforts to silence authors deemed subversive. No amount of repression could prevent the production, distribution, and discussion of texts outside official channels. Along with tragic stories of lost manuscripts and persecuted writers, there is ample evidence of an unbroken thread of political discourse through art. The book concludes with a consideration of the impact of two centuries of dangerous texts on post-Soviet Russia.
Gorky came close to Lenin and the Bolsheviks, taking an active part in the Revolution of 1905 and going into an exile that lasted until 1913. Gorky, returning home on the eve of World War I and the following revolutions of February and October 1917, became involved in the momentous developments. He vehemently opposed Lenin's socialist revolution, maintaining that Russia was not ready for it. A second exile followed in 1921. After returning in 1928 to Stalin's Soviet Union, Gorky was made into an icon, with the eye of the inquisition watching over him. And here began what is often called The Tragedy of Maxim Gorky. He died in 1936, but the circumstances of his death as well as the question whither Gorky is still debated Based on hitherto unavailable primary sources, Yedlin has cut through the Gorky legend to show the real person, the Gorky of contradictions and oscillations. Fascinating reading for scholars and students of Russian history and literature as well as the general public.
Drawing on the theories of Bakhtin, the volume analyzes the degree to which female characters are presented as subjects who actively think and perceive, rather than as passive objects who are thought of and perceived by men. In a polyphonic novel, authors enter into dialogic relationships with their characters; they depict them as unfinalizable persons, unfathomable and unpredictable, capable of the full range of human activity and emotion. The extent to which this polyphony incorporates women's voices is an accurate gauge of the feminism or misogyny of individual writers.