Village Prose (Soviet Russian)

(2228 words)
  • David Gillespie (University of Bath)

Literary/ Cultural Context Essay

Of all the areas of literary enquiry published in the Soviet Union following the death of Stalin, “village prose” is the one that most fundamentally challenged the myths and ideology on which Soviet society was built. Village prose was structured around contrast and opposition: old and new, village and town, female and male value systems, tradition and progress, stability and disruption, nature and industry, spiritual values and material needs, history and ideology. In all cases the former categories are favoured by the village writers, protesting against (and often damning) the latter. The opposition, however, runs deeper, serving to subvert authoritarian discourse and replace it with the people’s truth, based as it was on …

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Gillespie, David. "Village Prose (Soviet Russian)". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 21 July 2003
[, accessed 26 September 2016.]