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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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Akhmatova, Anna 41 Akunin, Boris 8, 271, 307 Alekseev, Gleb 44 Aleshkovskii, Petr 24, 307 Vladimir Chigrintsev 24, 307 Andreev, Leonid 39 Babel, Isaak 45, 48, 199–200 ‘Berestechko’ 45, 48 Konarmiia (Red Cavalry) 45, 199, 200 Bakhtin, Mikhail 44, 50, 101, 102 Beckett, Samuel 78 Beckford, William 10, 47 Vathek 10, 47 Beer, Gillian 112, 119, 127, 129, 138, 226 Bekhterev, V. M. 131, 229, 287 Beliaev, Aleksandr 18, 19, 20, 49, 92, 95, 100, 105, 112–19, 121–2, 124, 134, 135, 139, 144, 173–4, 180–6, 192 Ariel’ (Ariel) 20, 113–22, 124, 127 Chelovek-amfibiia (The Amphibian Man) 18, 113–22, 144 Golova professora Douelia (Professor Dowell’s Head) 19, 49, 135, 139, 144, 173–4, 180–5, 192 Khoiti-Toiti (Hoity Toity) 100, 124 Podvodnye zemledel’tsy (The Under- water Farmers) 121 Belinskii, Vissarion 305, 306 Bely, Andrei 15, 39, 63, 64 Peterburg 15, 64 Bestuzhev-Marlinskii, Aleksandr 15, 51, 193 Biocosmism 140 Blok, Aleksandr 15, 17, 195, 211, 212 Bogdanov, Aleksandr 140, 215–17 Inzhener Menni (Engineer Menni) 215–17 Krasnaia zvezda (Red Star) 215–16 Bogostroitel’stvo 140 Briukhanenko, S. S. 144, 174 Briusov, Valerii 15, 195, 246, 258 Brown-Séquard, Charles 114, 144 Bukharin, Nikolai 129, 260 Bulgakov, Mikhail 8, 14, 16, 18, 19, 20, 21, 25, 33, 48, 54, 56, 57, 58, 59, 60–2, 74–6, 77, 84, 86–7, 92, 95, 96, 105, 106, 123–8, 134–5, 191, 194–8, 200, 210, 218–25, 226, 227, 228, 237–41, 242, 244–7, 252,...

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