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The Institutionalisation of Soviet Literature

  • Geoffrey A. Hosking

Abstract

The early 19th-century Russian thinker Pyotr Chaadaev once remarked: ‘It is a great mistake to suppose that unlimited freedom is a necessary condition of intellectual development. … We blame the government for everything. But the government is merely doing its business—that is all. So let us do ours.’1 Perhaps that advice was salutary in Nicholas I’s Russia but, given the degree of political control, few western observers would expect that it could really be applicable to the Soviet Union today. And yet, an unexpected feature of Soviet literature in the 1970s and 1980s has been the sporadic but unmistakeable evidence that a rigid censorship and a high degree of political control of literature do not altogether preclude the publication of works of high quality.

Keywords

Publishing House Central Committee Political Control Chief Editor Collective Norm 
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Notes

  1. 1.
    Letter to A.I. Turgenev, quoted in M. Gershenzon, P.Ya Chaadaev: zhizn’ i myshlenie (SPB 1908) p. 98.Google Scholar
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Copyright information

© School of Slavonic and East European Studies, University of London 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Geoffrey A. Hosking

There are no affiliations available

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