How Pasternak and Solzhenitsyn Eventually Influence Russian Politics Term Paper

Pages: 3 (913 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: ≈ 4  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Literature

Russian Lit

Throughout the Soviet era in Russian history numerous artists and intellectuals came under fire for creating works that were contrary to or critical of the communist party. Additionally, at different times and under different rules, some writers and artists have found themselves on both sides of political debates -- they were seen as enemies of the party at one time, and advocates of it at another. Two particularly influential writers from twentieth century Soviet Russia are Alexander Solzhenitsyn and Boris Pasternak. Each of these authors contributed to both literary movements of their time and to political disputes and policies. Specifically, Solzhenitsyn expressed his interpretation of Soviet gulags under the rule of Stalin, and managed to publish this work during a literary and political "thaw" under Khrushchev. Despite the acclaim of Solzhenitsyn's work, he quickly found himself the subject of Soviet retribution for the critical and explicit nature of his book. Similarly, Boris Pasternak found himself the subject of a vicious campaign directed by Khrushchev for his foreign publication of Dr. Zhivago. Although both men's works of literature were officially banned by the state at some point, the notions published within eventually influenced the political minds and philosophies that came to dominate Russia.Get full Download Microsoft Word File access
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Boris Pasternak took a unique view of literature by comparison to his predecessors in that he refused to overtly endorse or condemn the events of history -- most significantly, the Bolshevik revolution. On one level, this made his writing non-threatening to the communist party, but on another, it made is omissions of undeniable patriotism highly questionable in the views of party authorities. "While opportunists celebrated five-year plans, Stalin's wisdom, and official enlightenment, Pasternak refused to see literature as a means of mass communications and to compose topical and functional verse." (Slonim, 218). This perspective parallels that of his central character in his most famous work, Dr. Zhivago. Despite the tremendous amount of social upheaval and political strife portrayed in the novel, the prevailing theme neither condemns nor condones the epic events that molded Russia during the twentieth century. "Doctor Zhivago, because of its incredible originality, was often mistaken for a work with a hidden political message. It may sound paradoxical but the main point of impact of Doctor Zhivago is precisely the fact that it was written as a nonpolitical book." (Slonim, 228). This was a distinct deviation from the traditional literary interpretation of the Russian man as a political animal; driven by social ideals and philosophies. The apparent lack of a political message has been misconstrued as perhaps a masked criticism. Consequently, Pasternak watched both himself and his work become the foundations for conflicting political policies.

By contrast, Alexander Solzhenitsyn's most famous work, a Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich,… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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"How Pasternak and Solzhenitsyn Eventually Influence Russian Politics."  Essaytown.com.  February 26, 2005.  Accessed October 23, 2020.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/pasternak-solzhenitsyn-eventually-influence/30633.