Soviet Mass Festivals, 1917–1991
Publication Year: 2013
Published by: University of Pittsburgh Press
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Title Page, Copyright Page
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Without all those persons who followed my general line of thought, this book would not be what it has become. I thank them all for their encouragement, criti-cism, patience, and indispensable support. Much conversation and discussion fur-thered my research by providing leads and suggestions. I particularly thank JÃ¶rg Baberowski, Dietrich Beyrau, Jochen Hellbeck, ÃrpÃ¡d von KlimÃ³, Jan Plamper, ...
Remarks on Transcription, Transliteration, and Quotations
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Names of persons and places, as well as familiar concepts, take their spellings from the American Heritage Dictionary, whenever transcriptions are available. However, in order to make them clearly identifiable, this work uses BGN transliteration in identifying Russian sources of quotes, Russian terminology, Russian institutions, and sources of or titles in Russian literature (e.g., fizicheskaya kulâtura, Gosudarst-...
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Shortly before the May 1 celebrations in 1941, Georgi Dimitrov, secretary-general of the Comintern, wrote in his diary, âParticipating in demonstrations is an important political act and not a mere formality.â1 He expected Moscowâs entire adult popula-tion, except for the ill, to show up for the procession. This official expectation well describes the nature of mass political celebrations in the Soviet Union. Festivity ...
1. Festival Culture in the Russian Empire
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...âto save time, i had decided .Â .Â . to stay just five days in the Russian Capital; but unfor-tunately we arrived at the beginning of a long chain of .Â .Â . holidays and had only four of ten days to take care of our matters.â1 In 1885, George Kennan wrote these lines in his diary while traveling from St. Petersburg to Siberia. Late nineteenth- Tsarist times featured many festive occasions: there were royal holidays, reli-...
2. Inventing Soviet Festivals
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...the history of official Bolshevik mass celebrations begins on May 1, 1918. On the first big red-letter day following the takeover of power in October 1917, the Bolsheviks demonstrated who was the new master in both Moscow and St. Petersburg and announced their official and exclusive claim to the symbols and celebrations of the revolutionary movement. The First of May was not a new holiday for the labor ...
3. Staging Soviet Celebrations
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...the composer Richard Wagner, in an essay on art of the future, outlined a concept of artwork that makes use of many forms, as in the combination of poetry, dance, and music to create a higher synthesis.1 In this view, not individual artists but the people as a community are the creators of art, a process that Wagner called the âsynthesis and cooperation of all artists.â2 The result is artwork of the future in two ...
4. Celebrating Soviet Festivals
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Soviet celebrations staged the ideal of new Soviet reality in time and space, produc-ing choreographed patterns of social hierarchy. Festivities were to follow nation-wide standards designed in Moscow. They represented the future world worth working for and were part of the effort of doing so. But how, as a cultural practice and irrespective of the political theory, were celebrations actually organized in the ...
5. Comparing Soviet Celebrations
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...in recent years, both research and the media have taken a closer look at âEuropean dictatorships,â particularly since it has become common knowledge that we can compare things without implying that they are somehow equal. Exhibitions and photography books have put images of the celebrations of totalitarian regimes side by side.1 At first glance, the similarity in aesthetics is striking, as in, for instance, ...
6. Transforming Soviet Festival Culture
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...the history of festivities is a matter of a longue durÃ©e. Profound changes in the festive landscape of a country happen over long periods of time and often do not depend on political breaks in history. The transformations of festival culture occur at their own pace, rather than in lockstep with political developments.1 Karl SchlÃ¶gel once said that Bolsheviks come and go, but the Russian prazdnik remains.2 And yet, ...
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Page Count: 460
Illustrations: 27 b&w photos
Publication Year: 2013
Series Title: Pitt Series in Russian and East European Studies
Series Editor Byline: Jonathan Harris, Series Editor