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When and. When. Our program continues following a 10 second pause for station identification. A. Hundred. And. You are listening to people under communism a transcribed series of follow up programs based on documented evidence and expert knowledge about the power and intentions of the Soviet Union. Materials for this program have been supplied by Dr. Ernest Simmons chairman of the department of Slavic languages at Columbia University and professor of Russian literature in its Russian Institute. Her
in. Her in Her Here is Dr. Simmons to continue with literature or to order. Let us take another example of the way Soviet fiction attempts to reveal the manner in which the party interferes in the personal lives of its members who in their behavior fall slightly below the communist pattern of absolute perfection. The victim in this case is list the POB the hero of another early a novel written shortly after the war ended it was widely popular but created a great deal of critical controversy. Let's depart is the communist director of a factory a human dynamo who worships work and inspires his subordinates to perform fantastic feats of labor. But blemishes appear in the white marble radiance of his
communist virtue stubbornness and a conviction of his own superiority over the collective faults which lead him to scorn the organized efforts of who's head of the factory trade union committee as those of a busybody. Accordingly he is called up by McCotter secretary of the district committee of the party. You know how these two men talk together. We have to talk things over just about every set out here. We have to talk about life and work and the song and various other things of the guy and we have to talk about it was jet into it. Who's got to apologize to whom I was just going to meet we did kiss when we make up. I can't move a step I declare without having my tea. No matter where we turn we come to the question of man of our Soviet Man the builder and defender of our future.
That's too general. Every Soviet citizen comes under this heading including the funny thing is that nothing is going on between skin and me. It's simply a case of lack of understanding arising out of compatibility of character and taste. I can't imagine that anything can be done about this thing that you call lack of understanding takes different forms they are all intolerable to the party and no matter how incompatible characters and tastes may be a basis exists on which two communists can always get together. This basis is their membership in the party and their duty to it. Nobody cannot direct you to conceive a liking for those jets but it considers it your duty to create normal conditions for his work. I suppose I have his office done up in the imitation model style he's so fond of. Will that improve his state of mind the party organization cannot go into the question of tastes and characters all of this is too touchy and shaky a matter but the body organization can and must take care of a comrade. There will have to live in peace with
a man who by the will of the workers is to work by our side and who has nothing in his record against him. We live in peace with him. Stereotyped characters and uniformity of the maintained in Soviet literature. For the examples quoted could be repeated with deadly sameness for many post Soviet novel. Well by now a formidable control apparatus has been developed in the Soviet Union to enable the party to carry out its declared intentions of using literature for its own purposes. Since the whole manufacturing process of the printed wood paper presses publishing houses distribution is ultimately under government control. The party has an
economic stranglehold on the whole output and content of literature. The propaganda line that determines the broad direction of literary content is usually initiated in the Polit Bureau announced in the resolutions of the Central Committee which have almost the force of the law lower down in the hierarchy of controls though capable of bringing more immediate pressure to bear on authors. Is the Union of Soviet writings though communist do not predominate in the membership of the Union. They do occupy most of the key posts and control it. Authors are encouraged to read their works and progress to relevant committees of the Union. And then the critical emphasis is on whether the writer has embodied in his work the true spirit of the party line. A further check takes place in the editorial offices of the so-called magazines for the best literature or even novels as serials appears first in these
publications. There are editorial boards and Turner made up largely of communists and one of their principal functions is to pass on the ideological correctness of manuscripts submitted to them. The same is true of the editorial boards of the huge government publishing firms. Finally all the literary work that appears in print must receive the approval of globs lit the official government censorship office. Of course nothing even verging on the pornographic old or an excessively Frank treatment of the theme of love or a concentration on the crime detective story elements for their own sake would survive if anyone dared to submit it. The moral standards of this control system. But should a literary work pass safely through this formidable array of Sims and be published with some undetected ideological impurity which occasionally happens it is almost certain to be pounced upon
by reviewers. And if there is any hesitation to review the work which is sometimes the case or if review was have failed to criticize offending ideological faults and officially inspired statement appears in the press to set matters a right. This usually elicits recantations all around from the author. Officials of the union of Wright is the editorial head of the responsible magazine our publishing house and often from the editor of the publication in which the airing review appeared. It is safe to say that few of the notable artistic works of Soviet literature of the past and there have been some very fine ones would be officially acceptable if offered for publication in this postwar period of rigid regimentation. When they are occasionally reprinted textual changes are introduced to bring them up to date ideologically. Clearly in the scheme of
things the literary artist would appear to have no more lofty duty than that of slavish Lee following the commands of the potter. No doubt a few sincerely dedicated communist right is except Can trolls is an article of faith in no sense inhibiting their artistic functioning and perhaps out of such faith can come inspired genuine Not in which ideological limitations and controls cease to be impediments to the creative process. Because they do not exist as such for the authors. The act of artistic creation becomes an act of faith in the system that controls it. But for the real Soviet literary artist who lacks this communism and there must be many is normally free ranging mind and imagination must stumble in constant pain and a sense
of self violation in a compulsive suffocating atmosphere of creation. It will be readily understood that such inclusive and rigid controls of literature in a totalitarian state require an omniscient authority as an infallible point of reference for both creative writers and critics. Naturally Stalin has been readily and apparently uncomplainingly pressed into service. He is trifling in spece published comments on literature have been diligently collected and used again and again by critics appropriately and inappropriately to illuminate the obvious in the recent potty line in literature. Nevertheless it should be added that Stalin's personal decisions behind the scenes are not recorded though often hinted at have probably played a significant part in the direction of literature
music and the theatre. Since 1930. Speaking of the fact not altogether certain that Stalin was responsible for the description of the writer as an engineer of the human soul. One Soviet critic writes in how deep is the love and respect for man and the writer as labor contained in this famous definition by studying only he the educator of the media is the mentor of the mentor for whom there is nothing more precious on earth than man could have defined the significance of the writer in the new society in terms so full of love and wisdom. In fact the sublimated image of an officially propagandized and dignified Stalin has become the model of many positive heroes of Soviet post law fiction. All he will appear in these novels directly or in directly is the chief inspiration of the hero or of the work at hand and in
scenes situations are conversations that simply defy reality. Yet it is clear that readers solemnly expected to accept these visitations as real. For example in the enormously popular recent novel far from Moscow a minute telephone conversation with Stalin has miraculous results. Incidentally telephone conversations with Stalin have become a persistent motif in post-war Soviet fiction. As Jaya describes a conference of Engineers with the Moscow general on Bures D's plan for an oil pipeline in Siberia the general reports to the conference that he is just phoned Stalin and declared as Comrade Stalin has approved the project and said that he regards the pipeline construction as a big battle with its own strategy. This simple comment of the great
man has the desired socialist realistic effect. At the conference the novelist writes but Monna of Zalkind but is D and jumped up on a single impulse and makes a couple good here is hot hammering loudly. We shant disgrace comrade Joe we piece it of us the young man. Alexei's agitated face had arrested his attention. We shall not comrade representative Alexei rapped out crisply. A more extraordinary use of this national father image is to be found in PR to the public goes novel happiness where Stalin appear is in person. This work awarded a Stalin prize was one of the first popular postwar novels to embody the new party line in literature they hero a colonel but a PIO of a much wounded Red Army officer is invalid out of the forces. Shortly before the conference
wall weary with one leg gone to Bacula one of his life is over and he goes to the warm climate of the Crimea to eke out his day. He finds the region ravaged by the war and most of the people thoroughly demoralized quickly but apply it allows himself to be drawn into the efforts of reconstruction as a party propagandists. Despite his illness he performs heroically and inspires the disconsolate people by devising an assault technique in a fashion on the reconstruction problem of the devastated collective farms in the region. The moral of the novel is that the war weary world of piety can find happiness only in the collective efforts of the people. While Stalin is at the famous conference of the big three he is fully informed of the tremendous leave is a vote of piety and summons. Listen how the novelist describes the meeting in the
garden at Gilt. What a pile of followed his new guide. They turned the corner of the house past the sentry then vote a pious companion halted and so did he. The man looked at him uncertainly and glanced aside and at that moment what a pious heard a voice it was impossible not to recognize this way comrade but upon Don't be shy. But but upaya did not stir. He could not. He saw Stalin. Stalin wearing a light spring tunic and cap was talking to an old guard in a standing by a vine that hung against the wall looking at what a pile he was still explaining something to the man that apparently interested them both deeply. Try this method Don't be afraid. Stalin said. I've tested it myself it won't let you down. The God looked at the speaker would be wilted and at the same time childlike admiration.
Somehow one's afraid to go against science Comrade Stalin in the CSAs day we had big experts here but they never tried going to such lengths. Stalin replied. There were plenty of things they didn't drive in this day. People didn't grow up properly either. But what of it. We shouldn't follow the old ways be bolder in your experiments. Grapes and lemons are needed in other parts of the country besides jaws. It's the climate Comrade Stalin. It puts a full stop to anything like this. Tender and delicate The plant is. How could it ever stand a frost. The governor said indicating the vine against the wall. Train it to stand climate make it Hoddy Don't be afraid. You and I as Southern is and still we don't feel too bad in the north. Stalin concluded coming forward to meet what a pilot
would have Piet was startled to see that he was coming to greet him with outstretched hands and an all embracing smile. They tell me you are leading the collective palm hereabouts to the assault. Very interesting idea to it perhaps not quite right in my opinion. Stalin shook hands and still holding but a PIO led him towards the little table in wicker chairs one of which was occupied by Mikhailovich Molotov. Every now and again one or another of the diplomatic staff approached him and whispered something in his ear and he would reply in an undertone. His hands were busy with the papers on the table before him. He shrugged his shoulders with an apologetic smile as though excusing himself for being busy. Stalin was unbelievably calm at the moment he appeared to be interested in what a pie of his life more than an anything else in the world except maybe the faintly
blue sky warm and languidly close to the sea at which he glanced from time to time with a kindly twinkle in his eye. What a pious thought to himself that Stalin had not aged at all since he had seen him last at the parade on November 7th 1941. But he had changed markedly in another way. His face which was familiar to him down to the smallest wrinkle had acquired new and impressive features which brought a pious rejoice to notice Stalin's countenance was bound to Walter because the people looked into it as they would into a mirror in which they saw themselves reflected and they the people had undergone a change that in dolled them with a greater Majesty. They have been telling me about you. Stalin began at once and to my mind you have done right in choosing to work in the country.
Unfortunately we still have many people who prefer being bureaucrats in Moscow to taking charge of affairs in the provinces. He glanced at Molotov who smiled as though he knew to whom these words refer. Yes there are still people of that kind. DAHLAN continued. But their day is nearly over. Tell us what you consider the most urgent needs. Don't be bashful. Speak up. Stalin's settled himself more comfortably in his chair and reached for a cigarette. For some reason he hadn't his pipe. People said Bought a pipe and in the first place. Keep a vote. Clever people Comrade Stalin Stalin chuckled and glanced at Molotov. Clever people are needed everywhere remarked with a smile. Clever people have to be made comrade
Colonel Stalin said in a brisk tone with a note of command in it. You have to make them yourself on the spot without waiting for them to be showered down on your heads from Moscow. What do you think. Who said that good workers are gone. Only in Moscow. Of course they grow here as well but very slowly and the need is urgent and the place is pretty bare. What a pile of replied feeling that he could not count on Stalin's support in this. And how are you getting on yourself. Not finding things so easy air. Stahl asked with a quick side glance as if he were not so much because he wanted to know what must have been already known to him but to hear the tune of the end said no things too easy. Well it's a good thing to hear you say so plainly. Sometimes one asks how up fellows getting on and he says
fine and then it turns out that he doesn't get a dinner every day. Gas things on too easy yet. But you can tell the collective promises that soon everything will take a turn for the better. The party is going to tackle and solve the food problems with the same energy that it once applied to the problems of industrialization. We shall do everything so that people may live well better than before the wall. Tell us about the local people who they are and where they come from and what they're doing. What a pile of pondered a moment. Choosing the best person to start with but evidently the Stalin thought he was searching for a way to formulate his and and a look of displeasure came into his face. Don't search for formulas. Give us real life sketches of people. We'll manage without formulating ourselves and bought a pious told him eagerly about the people he knew well.
Victor got a symbolic Madea book done a bit with the children sanatorium on your stoop in the pub near disco couple goats and all those with whom we had shared dreams of the future. And you told us you were in sad need of people said surprise. Why you've got a regular training round there will be coming to borrow a few people from you. Stalin was silent for a long while lighting a cigarette and puffing at it. If people like these put me a B.S. goes we're given the power he said softly as though to himself. We get moving at a good pace. Well that girl is stupid. The hatred of the Germans alone would make life worth living. Provided of course by Apollo properly directed. You want to take care of the symbolic stand up for him. Restless old fellows like that are badly needed. The young people look up to them. Well and who else have you got.
And so he went on again pondering on things suddenly drawing into himself as though comparing what he had just heard with something heard earlier determining where the truth lay. Then livening up delightedly with every new name. When what of Pi have told him of how he got it so was longing to be back working in grain and saw wheat fields stretching away to the horizon in his dreams. Stalin got to his feet and paced up and down deep in thought what a pilot got up to wondering whether he should remain standing by the table or follow Stalin to set his doubts at refs. Sit where you are Comrade Stalin likes to walk up and down while he's thinking things over. As he returned to the table Stalin said this longing for the grain fields is good. It's a desire for all the main things. Still grapes big and apples are
also necessities. You can tell him tell is a good song. He's an Army man. He'll understand that you are like this second echelon. The reason is once we solve the grain problem we'll consider your case. Suddenly remembering his talk with the God he grew animated. This garden now he's been working here for 45 years and he still afraid of science. This won't roll he says and that won't do in Pushkin's day eggplants used to be brought from Greece to Odessa is a rarity. We started to grow tomatoes in more months 15 years ago grapes and lemons and figs have to be pushed on Northwoods too. We were told that cotton could never thrive in the bond and in the Ukraine and it did. The whole idea is you must really want a thing and put your shoulder to the wheel and get it.
You can tell him this Stalin repeated. What was it he said. This God saw that he saw grain in his dreams. Yes he said I see myself reaping wheat in my dreams I wake up and my shoulders ache with work and there's a smell of fresh grain in the room. Well and maybe go to God to be transferred to wheat growing in the steppes are all a style and suddenly suggested Russian is Bawn to grow grain. Think it over. Talk to your top men. And now who else have you got there to tell us about. Deeply moved by a conversation that had set his soul a glow. What a pile of thrust his hand into his overcoat pocket and pulled out together with his handkerchief. The bunch of snowdrops picked that morning. They dropped on the ground and the guide who had conducted him here and who was near it and picked them up but a
PAJA put them back in his pocket. Stalin watched him with curiosity. As far as I know pockets not made for keeping flour as in he said with conviction. Give them to me. And this is what we'll do with them. And he added them to the flowers arranged in the wide shallow bowl on the table. But perhaps you meant them for someone. But a pie of told him about little thought and how she had been dreaming of giving snowdrops to Stalin when he drove past and no good dream had come true. Stalin looked thoughtful wondering what he could send her in return. Then calling someone he asked for cakes to be put in a nice little basket. As soon as the basket was brought. What a pie of leave to go. You have done well to act as you did Stalin said at parting.
Don't take any notice of anyone who comes down on you for it. We have too many officials as it is. You done well very well and as he looked into what a pious eyes his face suddenly lit up as though a gleam of sunshine passed over it. It was near sunset when what a pious returned home for a while he said. I don't want to see any one. The old. Stalin and Soviet literature today has taken on the stature of a legendary folk figure still haunting the kind of fairy
godfather who changes everything by his mere presence. He is already a supernatural being. People are struck dumb not merely by his presence but even by the reported telephone call or the mere mention of his interest in them. He is more than a Soviet God. But his miracles are not only performed in his lifetime but people believe in them in his lifetime. Stalin has touched socialist realism with his party wand and has transformed it into socialist unrealism. In truth one may well wonder what has actually happened to socialist realism. The much vaunted credo of Soviet literature since the 1946 resolution of the Central Committee on literary matters that is under the burden of such uncompromising controls one naturally asks the question can post more literature have any relevance at all to the reality of life in the Soviet Union.
A recent Soviet interpretation of socialist realism in keeping with the new party policy in literature can be used the notion of irrelevance. The critic writes in describing whatever contradictions the Soviet writer notices in life in depicting the struggle between the new socialist principles and the vestiges of the past in the minds of the people. You know is that the show all this correctly. You must have a clear understanding of the fact that under conditions of Soviet reality the new is bound to win. The writer who in depicting the vestiges of the past in the minds of people merely records events without interfering in their course without taking sides as a champion of the new. Such a writer is not a socialist realist. His position is that of an adherent of trans hostile to rail ism and I should add that this critique goes on to condemn certain characters in
recent Soviet literature as non-typical and as gross violations of truth because the cowardice of one an army officer leads to the destruction of a whole division. And because a soldier in another work displays human weaknesses these characters declares the critic land is against reality. In short it appears that in this new world of Soviet reality values can never triumph over virtue evil over good. The Qods are eternally stacked against the bad man. He's not even real. At least if he succeeds it is acceptable to write about bad people in Soviet literature only as foils for the good. But they must never winnow it. They are either reformed in the end jailed or killed all this amounts almost to a new kind of theology. Christian theology allows for unreconstructed bad men on earth the
guilty pay and how communist the ology insists that badness can never succeed. At least only in the UN socialistic realism in the West and America. Thus a socialist realism in Soviet literature today seems to have been transformed into the unreality of a kind of Soviet fairy tale in which the wicked stepmother steeped in blues was Bibles always gets just desserts in the end and the persecuted come some mocha heroine always marries the brave communist hero and lives happily ever afterwards in the socialist paradise of the USSR. We must conclude then that by virtue of the official control of Soviet literature today is obliged to reflect a negative sense of reality. The idealisation of life in the Soviet Union which the party
voice upon the public both is a reflection of communist aspirations for the future and as an opiate to minister to its present discontents. And. To and. To and. To Atlanta. And. And. You have just heard literature or two or one in a transcribed series are full of. Graham has people under communism based on documented evidence and expert knowledge about the power and intentions of the Soviet Union. Materials for this broadcast were supplied by Dr. A.J. Simmons chairman of the department of Slavic languages at Columbia University. This series as a whole was prepared in consultation with scholars from the Russian Research Center at Harvard University. The Hoover Institute and library at Stanford University. And the Russian Institute of Columbia
University. Your narrator was Dr Ernest sim. This program was produced and directed by Frank pap. These programs are prepared and distributed by the National Association of educational broadcasters and are made possible under a grant from the fund for adult education an independent organization established by the Ford Foundation.
People under communism
Literature to order, part two
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National Association of Educational Broadcasters
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University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Episode Description
This program, the second of three parts, takes a look at Soviet literature and its impact.
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A series of documentaries, interviews and talks based upon documented evidence and expert knowledge about the power and intentions of the Soviet Union.
Politics and Government
Soviet literature--Political aspects.
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Advisor: Simmons, Ernest J. (Ernest Joseph), 1903-1972
Advisor: Hoover Institute and Library on War, Revolution, and Peace
Advisor: Columbia University. Russian Institute
Advisor: Harvard University. Russian Research Center
Funder: Fund for Adult Education (U.S.)
Host: Simmons, Ernest J. (Ernest Joseph), 1903-1972
Producing Organization: National Association of Educational Broadcasters
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University of Maryland
Identifier: 52-38-5 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:30:00?
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Chicago: “People under communism; Literature to order, part two,” 1952-12-09, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed June 16, 2024,
MLA: “People under communism; Literature to order, part two.” 1952-12-09. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. June 16, 2024. <>.
APA: People under communism; Literature to order, part two. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from