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Stalin’s Ghosts

Gothic Themes in Early Soviet Literature

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Muireann Maguire

Stalin’s Ghosts examines the impact of the Gothic-fantastic on Russian literature in the period 1920-1940. It shows how early Soviet-era authors, from well-known names including Fedor Gladkov, Mikhail Bulgakov, Andrei Platonov and Evgenii Zamiatin, to niche figures such as Sigizmund Krzhizhanovskii and Aleksandr Beliaev, exploited traditional archetypes of this genre: the haunted castle, the deformed body, vampires, villains, madness and unnatural death. Complementing recent studies of Soviet culture by Eric Naiman and Lilya Kaganovsky, this book argues that Gothic-fantastic tropes functioned variously as a response to the traumas produced by revolution and civil war, as a vehicle for propaganda, and as a subtle mode of unwriting the cultural monolith of Socialist Realism.

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Note on Translations and Transliteration

Extract

The Library of Congress system of transliteration has been used throughout (with exceptions made for names better known by standard spellings, e.g. Trotsky, Gorky, Dostoevsky). All translations are my own unless other- wise indicated; where I have cited translations by others, full publication details are given in a footnote at first mention. All subsequent mentions are accompanied by a page number in parentheses.

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