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Khroustaleva A.V. Trade Unions and Control over Literary Life in the Soviet Regions During the New Economic Policy Period. Studia Litterarum, 2018, vol. 3, no 4, pp. 316–333. (In Russ.)

DOI: 10.22455/2500-4247-2018-3-4-316-333

Author: Anna V. Khroustaleva
Information about the author:

Anna V. Khroustaleva, Associate Professor, N.G. Chernychevsky Saratov National Research State University, Astrachanskaya 83, 410012 Saratov, Russia.

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Received: May 21, 2018
Published: December 25, 2018
Issue: 2018 Vol. 3, №4
Department: Textology. Materials
Pages: 316-333

UDK: 821.161.1
BBK: 63.3(2)613 + 83.3(2Рос=Рус)613
Keywords: E. Schulman, regional literature in the new economic policy period, the role of trade unions in literary life, literary life, the Soviet communist policy in literary life.


The article introduces data from the history of the trade unions movement in Saratov that demonstrates the remains of democracy in Soviet Russia during the New economic policy period. The exact numbers of attendees of literary events held by the Russian Association of Proletarian Writers — 3000 in 3 months in the town with 200 000 population — shows that the number of literature lovers exceeded that of today. Provincial literary life was self-sponsored. The article touches upon the issue of collective agreements signed by both trade unions and workers, which gave way to the development of the literary market. It reconstructs the biographical data of the earliest Saratov censor Efim B. Schulman based on the research at the Russian State Social and Political History Archive, Saratov State Archive, and Saratov State Modern History Archive. The paper demonstrates that control over literary life in Saratov was decentralized for a number of reasons; among them lack of professional competence of the censors, human resources potential, and remoteness from Moscow. One can thus testify a cultural lag between the capital and the regions. It was not until the mid-1920s that censorship was established in some districts of Saratov region. For example, a book published in Saratov in 1927 gives an uncensored judgment of Leo Trotsky, which was highly unusual for that time.


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