Soviet Literature - Samizdat, Tamizdat and Gosizdat publishing

Literary/ Cultural Context Note

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means “self-publishing” and is the term used of unofficial or illegal publications produced or circulated in the Soviet period (often just barely legible carbon copies of typescripts) – although a similar tradition had existed of the circulation of hand-written copies of non-permitted, or imported, texts during the Tsarist era. Many banned works achieved limited circulation by such methods – as opposed to resorting to


(publication “over there” [


] – i.e. in the West: illegal for Soviet authors, without permission; or achieving


(“state”, or officially sanctioned, publication).

Tamizdat Tamizdat means publication “over there” [tam] and is the colloquial term used for the illicit publication by Soviet writers of their works in the

256 words

Citation: Cornwell, Neil. "Soviet Literature - Samizdat, Tamizdat and Gosizdat publishing". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 15 September 2005 [, accessed 12 June 2024.]

1590 Soviet Literature - Samizdat, Tamizdat and Gosizdat publishing 2 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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