A Matter of Defi nition: The Birth of Socialist Realism in the West Cover Image
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A Matter of Defi nition: The Birth of Socialist Realism in the West
A Matter of Defi nition: The Birth of Socialist Realism in the West

Author(s): Natalia Skradol
Subject(s): Civil Society, Governance, Cold-War History
Published by: Фондация за хуманитарни и социални изследвания - София
Keywords: socialist realism; Cold War; ideological concepts

Summary/Abstract: The reflections in this article concern the creation, definition, and use of a concept that, while supposedly pertaining to the sphere of literature and the arts, was central to the ideology and culture of socialist societies: socialist realism. The article discusses transformations in Western reactions to the vocabulary and practice of socialist realism after its introduction as a formal doctrine in the USSR in the early 1930s, and after the creation of the Soviet Bloc in the late 1940s. The author argues that initial attempts by external observers to make sense of the term and related policies were refl ective of the semantics of the early Cold War in general. Exploring the vicissitudes of its (mis)understanding by Western journalists, intellectuals and politicians can help us understandthe mechanism behind much of intercultural and political communication between the two camps.

  • Issue Year: 2016
  • Issue No: 46
  • Page Range: 261-280
  • Page Count: 20
  • Language: English