Writers in the service of revolution : Russia's ideological and literary impact on Spanish poetry and prose, 1925-36
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This thesis is a comparative literary study which is conducted by placing the reception of Russian literature in Spain during the period 1918-36 within the context of the interplay of literature and the social and political situations in which it is written. It first places the boom in the publication of Russian literature in the late 1920s and 1930s within the context of the history of the reception of Russian literature in Spain, providing a comprehensive survey of that history. Next, it describes the impact of the Russian Revolution and the formative years of the Soviet Socialist state on the political situation in pre-Civil War Spain, including the ideological links between the political situations of both countries. In pre-Civil War Spain, the revolutionary atmosphere changed the mood, subject matter and style of literature, and certain writers, recognizing their civic duty, began to produce literature that had a socially critical and didactic role. During that period, given the political context and the development of politically committed literature, Spanish intellectuals and artists of a Marxist persuasion derived incentive from their Russian counterparts. Russian literature has traditionally been the forum for social criticism, and has had a profoundly revolutionary dimension. Pre-revolutionary writers such as Dostoevsky and Andreev have been perceived by outsiders as revolutionary writers, and, in that capacity, have enjoyed great popularity abroad, including Spain. In the Soviet era, Mayakovsky was often considered to be the "Poet of the Revolution", and Gorky was the chief spokesman in the promotion of socialist ideals in literature in the twenty years following the Revolution. In Spanish pre-Civil War fiction, both the social novel and poetry were instrumental in conveying overtly Marxist messages. The thesis concludes with a comprehensive study about certain Spanish writers and their works, in the domains of poetry and the novel, specifically seeking evidence of the impact of the literature and ideology which was emanating from Russia in the first third of the twentieth century.
Thesis, PhD Doctor of Philosophy
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