Soviet Gothic

(2139 words)

Literary/ Cultural Context Essay

“Soviet Gothic” is a paradoxical literary concept: how could any aesthetic system as morbid and backwards-looking as the Gothic mesh with the dynamic, progressive and rationalist society of Soviet Russia? Nonetheless, Gothic themes were widely disseminated within early Soviet literature. In Soviet Russia, Gothic had many uses: as a vehicle for propaganda (Maxim Gorky’s classic 1907 novel Mat’ [Mother] depicts judges as bloodthirsty vampires), as a response to societal trauma (the forerunner of French Gothic fiction, the roman noir, was coeval with the French Revolution), and as a space for the exploration of cultural anxieties (Mikhail Bulgakov’s 1925 novel Sobach’e …

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Maguire, Muireann. "Soviet Gothic". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 25 March 2011
[, accessed 29 November 2015.]

Related Groups

  1. Gothic, Grotesque& Supernatural Fiction