Shortly before the turn of the century, symbolism reached Russian literature: realistic storytelling and socially critical intentions were replaced by the preference for lyrical forms and the creation of individual artistic self-awareness. Two directions can be distinguished right from the start: the aesthetic-formal direction, which referred to French symbolism (W. J. Brjussow, KD Balmont , F. K. Sologub ), and the philosophical-religious direction, more influenced by German literature (D. S. Mereschkowski, Sinaida Hippius). A. Bely (novel »Peterburg«, 1913-14; German »Petersburg«) and A. A. Blok (“Stichi o prekrasnoj dame”, 1904; German “The Verses of the Beautiful Lady”) succeeded in synthesizing both directions and turning to specifically Russian, but the tension between the two directions remained. The metaphysical-religious conception, now alongside AA Blok v. a. Represented by W. I. Ivanov, prevailed as the ruling class.

After 1910, a large number of currents and groups replaced symbolism: For example, acmeism, which was inspired by I. F. Annenski and M. A. Kusmin and again focused more strongly on real things (N. S. Gumiljow, A. Achmatowa , O. E. Mandelstam, Sergei Mitrofanowitsch Gorodezki, * 1884, † 1967) and the linguistically innovative Futurism (with the “Cubofuturists” W. W. Mayakowski, W. Chlebnikow, N. N. Assejew , A. J. Krutschonych as well as the “Egofuturists” around I. Severyanin ). B. L. Pasternak joined the futuristic group “Centrifuga” to, S. A. Yesenin the putting on the imagery Imagism. A. M. Remisow, who drew the material for his dramas and prose works from mythological traditions, legends and sagas, tended to exaggerate expressionistically. The poet M. I. Tsvetaeva did not belong to any literary group. What they all had in common was the experiment with language, the turning away from the emphatically socially critical realism and the preference for lyrical forms, even in narrative prose (A. Bely, WJ Brjussow, OE Mandelstam, AM Remisow) and in drama. In addition, the tradition of critical realism continued in the circle around the publishing house »Znanie« (»Knowledge«), which in the early stories and stage plays (»Na dne«, 1902; German »Nachtasyl«) received M. Gorky’s socially utopian traits and remained in the prose of I. A. Bunin (“Gospodin iz San Francisko”, 1916; German “A gentleman from San Francisco”) and the storytelling art of A. I. Kuprin (“Jama”, 1909-15, German “The Crypt”) combined with stylistic features of the modern age, while in the drama (“Žizn ‘čeloveka”, 1907; German “The story of the seven hanged men”) and prose by L. N. Andrejew both tendencies found expression.

The first emigration: Many representatives of modernism as well as supporters of traditional aesthetics saw their artistic possibilities restricted by the revolution of 1917 and the civil war and emigrated, for example DS Mereschkowski, S. Hippius ,K. D. Balmont, Georgi Wladimirowitsch Iwanow (* 1894, † 1958), I. Severyanin, MI Tsvetaeva , I. A. Bunin, L. N. Andrejew, A. N. Tolstoy , A. I. Kuprin and I. S. Schmeljow. They found exile in Berlin, Paris and other places. In 1923 half a million Russian emigrants lived in Berlin, 186 Russian publishers were entered in the commercial register between 1918 and 1928. Russian newspapers and magazines printed works by exiled authors, those temporarily living abroad (M. Gorki, A. Bely, AN Tolstoy,I. G. Ehrenburg , W. B. Shklowski ) or authors who remained in Soviet Russia. In the “House of the Arts” SA Yessenin, MI Tsvetaeva, BL Pasternak, WW Mayakovsky and others. new works. V. Nabokov wrote nine novels in Berlin (“Zaščita Lužina”, 1930, German “Lushins Defense”; “Dar” 1937/38, German “Die Gabe”), several short stories, a handful of dramas, volumes of poetry and translations. Literary life in Paris was influenced by IA Bunin, S. Mereschkowski, AM Remisow and M. I. Zwetajewa until the occupation of France by the German Wehrmacht. The question of Russian identity, which had moved the warning sign »Wegzeichen« in 1909, was raised again during the emigration. It was answered in the Soviet sense (“Wechsel der Wegzeichen”, 1921) or interpreted in the sense of a European-Asiatic bipolarity (Eurasianism). NA Berdyayev represented the “Russian Idea” (1943) on the basis of Russian Orthodox values.

The 1920s

Despite the restrictive cultural policy measures of the Bolshevik government, the literary life of Soviet Russia in the first decade after the revolution was shaped by the existence and rivalry of different directions and groups.

The groups that were numerically largest and, despite internal differences, most strongly supported by the party saw themselves as departments of proletarian literature. The “Proletkult” (1917–22) was based on the theoretical concept of A. A. Bogdanow and attempted to bring about a cultural revolution on the broadest mass basis. Moscow authors joined forces in the groups “Kuznica” (smithy, 1921–31) and “Pereval” (mountain pass, 1923–30). The latter was guided by liberal ideas, owned by A. Wessjoly and N. N. Sarudin on. The “MAPP” (Moscow Association of Proletarian Writers, 1923–32) and the “RAPP” (All-Russian Association of Proletarian Writers, 1925–32) searched the journals “Na postu” (1923–26) and “Na literaturnom postu ”(1926–32) to push back the influence of the other groups and the non-party“ Poputciki ”(followers). They wanted to set standards for Soviet literature and paved the way for the doctrine of “socialist realism”.

Writers of bourgeois origin who were initially willing to cooperate with the new system without becoming politically active, such as B. A. Pilnjak , J. I. Samjatin , I. E. Babel , M. A. Bulgakov, were considered to be “followers” (the term can be found in L. D. Trotsky’s writings), OE Mandelstam , AA Achmatowa , BL Pasternak , K. G. Paustowski , M. M. Prischwin , L. M. Leonow , W. A. ​​Kawerin , L. N. Lunz , K. A. Fedin , N. S. Tichonow , WW Iwanow , M. M. Soschtschenko , W. E. Meyerhold , L. I. Dobytschin , W. P. Katajew , J. K. Olescha , L. Seifullina , A. N. Tolstoi , I. G. Ehrenburg , even WW Majakowski and M. Gorki .

The Futurists, who merged to form the LEF (Left Front of the Arts) in 1923 and published the magazines LEF (1923-25) and Novy LEF (1927-28), were the sharpest rivals of the Proletkult and the “RAPP”. They wanted to combine art and literature directly with real life, while at the same time preserving the achievements of futurism. Like W. W. Mayakovsky (“Banja”, 1929/30; German “Das Schwitzbad”), they put their works at the service of daily politics and followed the “social mandate” they had imposed on themselves. »LEF« worked closely with visual artists (A. M. Rodtschenko ) and filmmakers (S. M. Eisenstein ) together, also with the new art theories that emerged within the framework of the “Opojas” and the “Formal School” (W. B. Schklowski , R. O. Jakobson , J. N. Tynjanow , B. M. Eichenbaum ). »LEF« created a production aesthetic that v. a. was represented by the “operating writer” S. M. Tretyakov . This “factography” shifted the focus of literary production to prose. The »Literary Center of the Constructivists« (1923–30), to which the poet I. L. Selwinski belonged, tried to use the appropriate procedure for every topic. Also I. G. Ehrenburg propagated at this time constructivist ideas.

At the beginning of 1921, the group of “Serapion Brothers” was formed around the Weltliteratur publishing house in Petersburg in order to counter the constraints of the state literary industry and the political objectives of the “proletarian cult”. The progenitors were J. I. Zamyatin, M. Gorki, W. B. Schklowski and K. I. Tschukowski . The spirited L. N. Lunz made a name for himself as the theoretical head. The circle also included K. A. Fedin (“Goroda i gody”, 1924; German “Cities and Years”),M. M. Soschtschenko, WA Kawerin, W. W. Ivanov, N. N. Nikitin , M. L. Slonimski and the poets N. S. Tikhonov and JG Polonskaya . V a. also B. A. Pilnjak (“Golyj god”, 1921; German “The naked year”), I. E. Babel (“Konarmija”, 1926; German “Die Reiterarmee”), J. K. Olescha and L. M. Leonow, who were far from the group. Later on, only the author couple came to the success of the satirist MM Soschtschenko I. Ilf and J. P. Petrow (“Dvenadcat ‘stul’ev”, 1928; German “Twelve chairs”).

The last freely formed group was called »Oberiu« (alienated from: »Vereinigung der Realen Kunst«, 1928–31). The “Oberiuten” took up the futuristic language experiments of W. Chlebnikow and A. J. Krutschonych and designed a world of the absurd in their works. Since they were not allowed to publish their texts, they earned their living with poetry for the children’s book department of the state publishing house, which was headed by S. J. Marschak since 1924. The absurd play “Elizabeta Bam” (1928; German “Jelisaweta Bam”), which, like the poems and plays by A. I. Wwedenski, defies rational interpretation, had a programmatic character for the work of D. I. Charms. In poems, N. A. Sabolozki referred to the interplay of life-creating and life-destroying forces in nature. The prose was used by the Oberiuts K. K. Waginow (“Kozlinaja pesn ‘”, 1928, German “Bocksgesang”; “Trudy i dni Svistonova”, 1929, German “Werke und Tage des Svistonow”), which followed M. M. Bakhtin’s pattern of the Menippea. The group was also close to the playwright J. L. Schwarz and the painter K. S. Malewitsch.

Russian Literature in 20th Century

Russian Literature in 20th Century
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