Russia's Dangerous Texts: Politics Between the Lines

December 7, 2020
Russia's Dangerous Texts: Politics Between the Lines

Russia's Dangerous Texts examines the ways that writersand their works unnerved and irritated Russia's authoritarianrulers both before and after the Revolution. Kathleen F. Parthéidentifies ten historically powerful beliefs about literature andpolitics in Russia, which include a view of the artistic text asnational territory, and the belief that writers must avoid allcontact with the state.Parthé offers a compelling analysis of the power of Russianliterature to shape national identity despite sustained efforts tosilence authors deemed subversive. No amount of repression couldprevent the production, distribution, and discussion of textsoutside official channels. Along with tragic stories of lostmanuscripts and persecuted writers, there is ample evidence of anunbroken thread of political discourse through art. The bookconcludes with a consideration of the impact of two centuries ofdangerous texts on post-Soviet Russia.