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How life writes the book : real socialism and socialist realism in Stalin's Russia

Author: Thomas Lahusen
Publisher: Ithaca [N.Y.] : Cornell University Press, 1997.
Edition/Format:   Print book : Biography : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
This remarkable volume is at once a history of a book and an attempt to come to terms with the traumatic experience of a man and his generation. Thomas Lahusen was doing research on Far from Moscow, a classic socialist realist novel by a writer named Vasilii Azhaev, when he made an astonishing discovery. Azhaev had assembled an extensive personal archive integrating his personal history with the political history of
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Additional Physical Format: Online version:
Lahusen, Thomas.
How life writes the book.
Ithaca [N.Y.] : Cornell University Press, 1997
(OCoLC)605035766
Named Person: Vasiliĭ Azhaev; Vasiliĭ Azhaev; Vasiliĭ Azhaev; Vasilij N Ažaev; Vasilij N Ažaev
Material Type: Biography
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Thomas Lahusen
ISBN: 0801433940 9780801433948 0801484235 9780801484230
OCLC Number: 36783936
Description: xii, 247 pages : illustrations, maps ; 24 cm
Contents: 1. Project No. 15 --
2. Utopics: The "Second Baku" and the "Other" of Place --
3. The Beginning --
4. Camp Freedom: The Oath; or, On Transference-Love --
5. Personal Files --
6. Borderline I: Rubezhansk --
7. The Notebooks of Komsomol'sk --
8. Far from Moscow --
9. Borderline II: To Moscow! --
10. Between Engineers: More on Transference-Love --
11. A Thousand and One Nights: Far from Moscow and Its Readers --
12. The Screen --
13. Borderline III: The Death of the Chekist --
Epilogue: How Life Finishes Writing the Book --
Appendix. Decree of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR on Awards to Construction Workers of Special Projects, 30 October 1942.
Responsibility: Thomas Lahusen.

Abstract:

This remarkable volume is at once a history of a book and an attempt to come to terms with the traumatic experience of a man and his generation. Thomas Lahusen was doing research on Far from Moscow, a classic socialist realist novel by a writer named Vasilii Azhaev, when he made an astonishing discovery. Azhaev had assembled an extensive personal archive integrating his personal history with the political history of his time. Drawing on the archive, Lahusen reconstructs the genesis, writing, reworking, and reception of the Stalin Prize novel.

He leads us from a forced labor camp to the highest reaches of the Soviet literary bureaucracy and back again, in the process helping us better to understand the failure of the bold Soviet effort to integrate literature and life, utopia and reality. Blending historical analysis, fiction, biography, and even autobiography, Lahusen gives us an unrivaled picture of the vicissitudes of literature and life in Stalin's Russia. The volume includes an array of rare illustrations depicting moments in Azhaev's life and that of his generation. The result is a book that frames in new and provocative ways the questions that continue to baffle and terrify anyone who seriously contemplates the Stalinist era.

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