Soviet Literature - The Purges

(847 words)

Literary/ Cultural Context Essay

The so-called “Great Purge” (or “Great Terror”) is considered to have lasted from 1934 to 1939. Although earlier purges had occurred in the Civil War and post-Civil War eras and in the earlier years of Stalinisation, the “Great Purge”, beginning in 1934, was of a much vaster order. The starting point was the reaction to the1934 assassination of Segei Kirov, the Leningrad Party leader (itself a mysterious event). Victor Serge’s novel, The Case of Comrade Tulayev, offers a fascinating imaginative treatment of this and developments therefrom.

The pre-existing system of repression, established under the CHEKA (the Soviet secret police, in its first Bolshevik incarnation) for the Red …

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Cornwell, Neil. "Soviet Literature - The Purges". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 15 September 2005
[, accessed 25 November 2015.]

Related Groups

  1. Gulag and Anti-Stalinist Narratives