среда, 3 июля 2013 г.

New book: Denis Kozlov. The Readers of Novyi Mir: Coming to Terms with the Stalinist Past (Harvard UP, 2013)

Denis Kozlov. The Readers of Novyi Mir: Coming to Terms with the Stalinist Past. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2013. ISBN 9780674072879
Publication: June 2013.


Denis Kozlov is Assistant Professor of History at Dalhousie University.

In the wake of Stalin’s death in 1953, the Soviet Union entered a period of relative openness known as the Thaw. Soviet citizens took advantage of the new opportunities to meditate on the nation’s turbulent history, from the Bolshevik Revolution, to the Terror, to World War II. Perhaps the most influential of these conversations took place in and around Novyi mir (New World), the most respected literary journal in the country. In The Readers of Novyi Mir, Denis Kozlov shows how the dialogue between literature and readers during the Thaw transformed the intellectual life and political landscape of the Soviet Union.

Powerful texts by writers like Solzhenitsyn, Pasternak, and Ehrenburg led thousands of Novyi mir’s readers to reassess their lives, entrenched beliefs, and dearly held values, and to confront the USSR’s history of political violence and social upheaval. And the readers spoke back. Victims and perpetrators alike wrote letters to the journal, reexamining their own actions and bearing witness to the tragedies of the previous decades.

Kozlov’s insightful treatment of these confessions, found in Russian archives, and his careful reading of the major writings of the period force today’s readers to rethink common assumptions about how the Soviet people interpreted their country’s violent past. The letters reveal widespread awareness of the Terror and that literary discussion of its legacy was central to public life during the late Soviet decades. By tracing the intellectual journey of Novyi mir’s readers, Kozlov illuminates how minds change, even in a closed society.

    Introduction: Readers, Writers, and Soviet History
    1. A Passion for the Printed Word: Postwar Soviet Literature
    2. Barometer of the Epoch: Pomerantsev and the Debate on Sincerity
    3. Naming the Social Evil: Dudintsev’s Ethical Quest
    4. Recalling the Revolution: The Pasternak Affair
    5. Literature above Literature: Tvardovskii’s Memory
    6. Reassessing the Moral Order: Ehrenburg and the Memory of Terror
    7. Finding New Words: Solzhenitsyn and the Experience of Terror
    8. Discovering Human Rights: The Siniavskii-Daniel’ Trial
    9. In Search of Authenticity: The “Legends and Facts” Controversy
    10. Last Battles: The End of Tvardovskii’s Novyi mir
    Epilogue: Tradition, Change, Legacies
    Archives Consulted

    “Kozlov shows us how ordinary citizens reacted to the Thaw and how they came to regard the entire Soviet order and the legacy of the Stalinist years. Using the readers of Novyi mir’s own words, he demonstrates that a skeptical view of the Soviet past was far more widespread than most have previously believed. It was not just a few writers who were expressing dissident views; the society as a whole was changing.”—Barry Scherr, Dartmouth College

    “The Readers of Novyi Mir represents a major breakthrough in our knowledge and understanding of postwar Soviet literature. Drawing on a treasure-trove of letters to the most important Soviet ‘thick journal’ of the time, it offers both new information and insightful commentary on readers, writers, editors, and important controversies. Absolutely indispensable for anyone interested in a beyond-the-clichés view of this fascinating period.”—William Mills Todd III, Harvard University

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