Aus unseren Neuerwerbungen – Slavistik 2022.8

Tol­stoi and the evo­lu­tion of his artis­tic world
BuchcoverJoe Andrew and Robert Reid assem­ble thir­teen ana­lyt­i­cal dis­cus­sions of Tolstoi’s key works, writ­ten by lead­ing schol­ars from around the world. The works stud­ied cov­er almost the entire length of Tolstoi’s cre­ative career, from some of his ear­li­est sto­ries of the 1850s (The Sev­astopol Sto­ries), to those of his last peri­od, includ­ing posthu­mous pub­li­ca­tions (The Kreutzer Sonata and Father Sergius). Par­tic­u­lar atten­tion is paid to his two mas­ter­pieces, War and Peace and Anna Karen­i­na. All the stud­ies are based on the most recent devel­op­ments in cul­tur­al the­o­ry. The read­er of this work will gain new and unique insights into this unpar­al­leled genius of world lit­er­a­ture, espe­cial­ly into the meth­ods used to cre­ate the works that retain immense impor­tance for us today.
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The Sovi­et Writ­ers‘ Union and its lead­ers: iden­ti­ty and author­i­ty under Stal­in
BuchcoverThe Sovi­et Writ­ers’ Union offered writ­ers elite sta­tus and mate­r­i­al lux­u­ries in exchange for lit­er­a­ture that cham­pi­oned the state. This book argues that Sovi­et ruler Joseph Stal­in chose lead­ers for this cru­cial orga­ni­za­tion, such as Max­im Gorky and Alexan­der Fadeyev, who had psy­cho­log­i­cal traits he could exploit. Stal­in ensured their loy­al­ty with var­i­ous rewards but also with a philo­soph­i­cal argu­ment cal­cu­lat­ed to assuage moral qualms, allow­ing them to feel they were not trad­ing ethics for self-inter­est.
Employ­ing close tex­tu­al analy­sis of pub­lic and pri­vate doc­u­ments includ­ing speech­es, debate tran­scripts, per­son­al let­ters, and diaries, Car­ol Any expos­es the mis­giv­ings of Writ­ers’ Union lead­ers as well as the argu­ments they con­struct­ed when faced with a cog­ni­tive dis­so­nance. She tells a dra­mat­ic sto­ry that reveals the inter­de­pen­dence of lit­er­ary pol­i­cy, com­mu­nist moral­i­ty, state-spon­sored ter­ror, par­ty infight­ing, and per­son­al psy­chol­o­gy. This book will be an impor­tant ref­er­ence for schol­ars of the Sovi­et Union as well as any­one inter­est­ed in iden­ti­ty, the con­struc­tion of cul­ture, and the inter­face between art and ide­ol­o­gy.
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