THE INVENTION OF PEASANT LITERATURE (on the materials of the All-Russian Society of Peasant Writers (VOKP), IWL department of manuscripts)

Journal Title: Studia Litterarum - Year 2016, Vol 1, Issue 3

Abstract

The essay focuses on the Society of Peasants Writers (hereafter referred as VOKP) that changed a number of names in the course of its existence — All-Russian Peasants’ Union of Writers (1921–1925), All-Russian Society of Peasant Writers (1925–1930), All-Russian Association of Proletarian and Kolkhoz writers (1931), and Russian society of Proletarian and Kolkhoz Writers (1931–1932). Its main objective was the implementation of the state program for the “village reconstruction” (Vladimir Lenin) in the spirit of “raskrestyanivanie” [de-peasant-ring]. IWL archives (fund 156) contain rich materials on the history of the two periods of VOKP’s activity, its agendas as well as evidence of its creative and ideological work with aspiring village writers. In the frst period, 1921–1927, the Society rendered real help to peasants, primarily in literary studies, within the framework of the so called struggle against the peasantry ignorance. After 1927, albeit VOKP was extended, the activity of the Society concentrated on the crusade against the kulak and petty-bourgeois ideology. While the All-Russian Peasants’ Union of Writers was being transformed into the Russian Society of Proletarian and Kolkhoz Writers, the Society tried to decide who was a “true” or “genuine” peasant writer and who therefore had the right to instruct beginners. The work of «kulak poets» such as S.A.Yesenin and N.A.Klyuyev was no longer considered appropriate for the poetical education of younger people. Drawing on the reviews of the poetical works from the VOKP fund, the essay seeks to understand how the Society evaluated ideology and aesthetics of these works, what kind of advice and recommendations it gave to the authors and eventually what were the criteria for publication and for the VOKP membership. The article argues that conformity to the so called Proletarian and Kolkhoz ideology was becoming into the defning principle of evaluation and acceptance. Letters and manuscripts sent by peasant writers’ to VOKP, however, tell a different story. They reflect thoughts and ideas expressed by the dwellers of Soviet villages, communes, and collective farms of the 1920’s — early 1930’s and show that their authors did not share many aspects of the state policy.

Authors and Affiliations

Elena A. Papkova

Keywords

Related Articles

LE PARADOXE DU CRITIQUE D’ART: LA TENSION ENTRE PATHÉTIQUE ET IRONIE DEVANT LES TABLEAUX TOUCHANTS [PARADOX AS THE CRITIQUE OF ART: TENSION BETWEEN PATHOS AND IRONY OF THE “TOUCHING” PAINTINGS]

In his Salons, Denis Diderot pays special attention to “touching,” pathetic paintings, and his interest to J.-B. Greuze’s art is evidence to that. When Diderot turns to describe Greuze’s canvases or genre painting of J...

LEO TOLSTOY’S POPULAR THEATRE: THE BEGINNING OF THE WRITER’S EDUCATIONAL SERVICE

This article examines the frst phase of Leo Tolstoy’s educational service in the feld of the popular theatre on the example of the stage history of his comedy The First Distiller (1886). I see my task in the reconstruct...

TRAGICOMEDY OF CARLO GOLDONI

Goldoni’s tragicomedies while being less popular and lesser studied than his comedies nonetheless provide us with rich material for the study of the genre’s general properties. Goldoni’s tragicomedies fall into two grou...

The Lower Depths on the German Stage

This article examines the stage history of M. Gorky’s play The Lower Depths in Germany. The author discusses German stage history of Gorky’s work against the social background and in the context of major artistic tendenc...

NEW SOURCE FOR THE HISTORY OF “RESHILOVSKOE DELO” Podmetnoe pismo [Anonymous Letter] of 1732

The present publication is the frst edition of Podmetnoe pismo [Anonymous Letter] of 1732 which was considered to be lost. The appearance of the anonymous pamphlet criticizing the Holy Sinod church policy and foreign dom...

Download PDF file
  • EP ID EP26124
  • DOI 10.22455/2500-4247-2016-1-3-4-399-418
  • Views 354
  • Downloads 16

How To Cite

Elena A. Papkova (2016). THE INVENTION OF PEASANT LITERATURE (on the materials of the All-Russian Society of Peasant Writers (VOKP), IWL department of manuscripts). Studia Litterarum, 1(3), -. https://europub.co.uk/articles/-A-26124