Socialist Realism

For Discussion Board 3, please address any of the questions below. As always in this class: you are required to make a minimum of THREE (3) posts per module. At least one of your three posts should be your own original comment; at least one – should be a response to or comment on something another classmate has posted; the third post can be either your own original post or a comment on a classmate’s post. Keep in mind that your response should NOT simply be a summary of the assigned reading. A higher grade will be awarded to posts that demonstrate student’s ability to provide an original interpretation of the topic while also applying relevant concepts, issues, and theories covered in the course.

(1) If you recall, Birgit Beumers argued in one of Module 1’s essays that socialist realism limited “the emotional or intellectual challenge of the artistic product.” Now that you have read some actual examples of socialist realist texts, do you agree with Beumers’ statement? Did you get a sense that, while creating their fairy-tales, the writers have simply followed a strict, almost “bureaucratic,” formula? Give specific examples from the fairy-tales you read.

(2) One impetus for the creation of socialist realism was Stalin’s desire to streamline artistic expression (thereby controlling any type of dissident activity). Stalin also believed that literature and art had to be accessible to the masses. Remember how many of you in your discussion posts said that you often had a hard time following acmeist or futurist poetry or weren’t sure where the poet was going with that work? Well, Soviet population in the 1930s wasn’t any better positioned to understand very complex art works either! (Keep in mind that a large percentage of Soviet proletariat was not educated; most people had 3 – 4 grades of elementary school at best). Discuss if, in your opinion, socialist realism had a potential for broader appeal to many strata of Soviet population. Give specific examples.

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