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The KGB's literary archive

Author: Vitaliĭ Shentalinskiĭ; John Crowfoot
Publisher: London : Harvill Press, 1995.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
"In the 1920s, the new Soviet regime set out to woo the intelligentsia, but as Stalin began to consolidate his power, forceful measures were taken to bring Russia's writers to heel. In 1932, the various competing writers' organizations were replaced by the single Writers Union with its doctrine of Socialist Realism. Unquestioning loyalty became the order of the day, and those who would not toe the line paid the  Read more...
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Genre/Form: Biography
History
Additional Physical Format: Online version:
Shentalinskiĭ, Vitaliĭ.
KGB's literary archive.
London : Harvill Press, 1995
(OCoLC)605294649
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Vitaliĭ Shentalinskiĭ; John Crowfoot
ISBN: 1860460720 9781860460722 1860460739 9781860460739
OCLC Number: 34349495
Language Note: Translated from Russian.
Notes: Originally published 1993 by Editions Laffont, Paris.
Description: x, 322 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates ; 24 cm
Other Titles: Parole ressuscitée.
Responsibility: Vitaly Shentalinsky ; translated from the Russian, abridged and annotated by John Crowfoot ; with an introduction by Robert Conquest.

Abstract:

An account of the repression of writers in the Soviet Union based on the KGB's own files.  Read more...

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    schema:reviewBody ""In the 1920s, the new Soviet regime set out to woo the intelligentsia, but as Stalin began to consolidate his power, forceful measures were taken to bring Russia's writers to heel. In 1932, the various competing writers' organizations were replaced by the single Writers Union with its doctrine of Socialist Realism. Unquestioning loyalty became the order of the day, and those who would not toe the line paid the price of harassment, exile, imprisonment, or execution." "Fifty years later, when the combination of perestroika and his own initiative presented Vitaly Shentalinsky with the opportunity to investigate the fate of Stalin's writer-victims and reclaim their stolen words, he seized it. The resulting Commission for the Literary Legacy of Writer-Victims of the Repressions helped to speed the process of rehabilitation; it collected memoirs hidden from the KGB over the years, and published many of the more interesting ones. Shentalinsky himself plunged deep into the labyrinth of the KGB's archive to discover what really happened to the victims of the secret police and their army of informers. He brought back to the light the tragic stories of many writers and also a large number of important works, including Bulgakov's diary, the final text of Mandelstam's satire on Stalin, prophetic poems by Nikolay Klyuev and a previously unknown novel by Andrey Platonov." "It had always been known that writers who opposed or fell foul of the Soviet regime risked their lives, but what this book reveals for the first time is how the Terror worked, who were the interrogators, what were their methods, and how the writers coped in the face of psychological torment or physical torture." "In The KGB's Literary Archive, Russia's persecuted writers speak again. Here is Bulgakov, confiding to his wife with customary wit the drama of his duel with Stalin; Isaac Babel, caught in an inescapable web of intrigue going back 15 years, involving the woman who became Yezhov's wife; Mandelstam writing out at the request of his infamous interrogator - Khrystoforych - his satire on Stalin and when asked why he had written it stating with childlike candour that he hated fascism; Nina Hagen-Torn describing with dispassion the processing of a prisoner destined for the Gulag; professor and Orthodox priest, Pavel Florensky, who once faced down Trotsky, noting the similarities between the techniques of the Inquisition and those of his Soviet interrogator ..."--Jacket." ;
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