Slavische Philologie - Slavistik



Tatiana Voronina "The Siege of Leningrad as a Socialist Realism Project"

For researchers who know soviet historiography of the WWII the striking resemblance between history books and soviet fiction is no secret. This resemblance exists not only because historians adopt the instruments of writers but because socialist realism was the main peculiarity of the soviet fiction. Writers in this genre used particular literary conventions in these novels, such as depicting real events as background and interpreting the authority evident in these events. I will show how this literary genre influenced the narrative about the Siege of Leningrad. I will show the connections between this literary form and the content of images depicting Siege of Leningrad in historical memory in Russia.
When thinking about collective memory, the historian Yael Zerubavel observed that each mention of the past reproduces a “commemorative narrative”. (Zerubavel, 2011. P.16) These elements or rules make the narrative understandable and meaningful to the society in question. Zerubavel called these rules the “scheme of the narrative.” Such a scheme, inherent in fictional, historical writing and memories selects facts and textual forms in a manner that adheres to the poetics of a particular literary genre. Therefore, the scheme of the narrative defines a frame for historical presentation. (White, 1987)
In my presentation I argue that Soviet texts about Blockade of Leningrad has a narrative scheme as well. And it was based on socialist realism.