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2013 Master's Level Graduate Research Conference

Session I - Session II - Session III

The Politics of Poetry: The Influence of the Silver Age of Russian Poetry on Joseph Stalin

The Soviet Union under totalitarian Joseph Stalin was rife propaganda. Stalinís political machine suppressed the written word, spending vast resources to manipulate, terrorize, and control the writers and publishers of the era. This persecution has been attributed to Stalinís deteriorating mental state. Although the grip of Stalinís rule and public opinion about his political endeavors is widely studied, few non-Russian historian are aware of the direct and intimate interactions he had with certain Russian poets. It is shocking to uncover the level of minute detail with which Stalin dealt with poets in Russia, and the political, social, and cultural influence of their interactions. Specific examples are found in letters written by Anna Akhmatova to Stalin, the decisions regarding the imprisonment of Osip Mandelstam, and the famous phone conversation between Boris Pasternak and Stalin. This presentation examines Stalinís cunning reasons for interacting with literary figures of his time.

Presenter: Adam Lieberman (Middlebury College) -- alieberm@middlebury.edu
Topic: History - Panel
Location: 127 Hartwell
Time: 9:45 am (Session I)

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