Dr. Lysenko-stien’s Monster

"In Stalin's Time" book cover

One could say that the state of post-World War II Soviet Russia was a very ‘Big Deal.’ A term coined by Vera Dunham, writer of In Stalin’s Time: Middleclass Values in Soviet Fiction, describes the social and democratic shift of Soviet society from “sacrificial and “heroic”” mindsets to a culture based on meshchanstvo (bourgeois culture),…

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How Blue was the Notion of the Blue Kerchief?

Painting of woman in a blue scarf

“The Blue Kerchief” performed by Siniy Platochek While romance and love had fallen out of fashion during the onset of the Soviet Union, being widely regarded as facets of bourgeois society, there was a resurgence in courting and the lustful sentiment of mating during the pre-war era. The 1930s experienced a return to traditional family … Continue reading How Blue was the Notion of the Blue Kerchief?

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Ehrenburg in “Красная звезда”

newspaper with Ehrenburg's editorial

During the Great Patriotic War, the Red Army newspaper “Красная звезда” (Red Star) provided one of the main modes of communication from writers on the war front to those laboring on the home front. As with the other nations engaged in the war, the paper became on of the most effective mediums for developing a … Continue reading Ehrenburg in “Красная звезда”

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Life and Fate: The Great Patriotic War’s Impact on the Soviet Union in Vasily Grossman’s Epic Novel

Photo of Grossman during WWII

Vasily Grossman, 1945. Source Many Americans have read Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment, or Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace. However, few have heard of a similarly titled and sized work: Vasily Grossman’s epic, Life and Fate. Although its structure bears resemblance to the former two novels, Life and Fate‘s unique setting gives it significance in Soviet history unparalleled by most […]

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