Dmitri N. Shalin
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"The poet in Russia is more than just a poet." This line from Evgeny Yevtushenko's verse hints at the unique place that artistic culture has occupied in Russia 's tragic history. From Radishchev and Tolstoy to Solzhenitsyn and Tarkovsky, writers, painters, film makers -- cultural producers of every kind -- undertook to explain Russian society to itself. The common view that depicts Soviet art as subservient to ideology is well grounded in facts, but it tends to conceal as much as it reveals. Soviet artists served the state, and thus could not help but being influenced by the nation's poisonous political climate. But they also thrived in the pungent native soil, soared high in their struggle against the system, carved out an inner space where they could experiment with their craft and turn their humiliation into inspired works of art. Soviet artistic culture is a paradoxical tangle of forces, impulses, and relations generated by the nation's spiritual and social currents that defy attempts to dispose of them in one fell swoop.
Political poetry; Russian; Politics and culture; Politics and literature; Russian poetry – History and criticism
Arts and Humanities | Other Languages, Societies, and Cultures | Slavic Languages and Societies
Artistic culture: The Trial by Freedom. In Dmitri N. Shalin,
Available at: https://digitalscholarship.unlv.edu/russian_culture/11