• Soviet Union on the Seine: Kontinent, Sintaksis, and the Social Life of Émigré Journals

    Philip Gleissner (see profile)
    Slavic DH
    Periodicals--Study and teaching, Digital humanities, Soviet literature, Migration, Internal--Study and teaching, Periodicals, Russian literature
    Item Type:
    Periodical studies, Migration studies
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    This article examines the ways in which literary journals organized the intellectual life and literary culture of the so‐called third‐wave emigration in the 1970s and 1980s. It focuses on the two periodicals Kontinent and Sintaksis (founded in 1974 and 1978, respectively)–not merely through the lens of individual contributions or statements by editors, such as Vladimir Maximov, Maria Rozanova, and Andrey Sinyavsky. Applying new methodological approaches from the emerging field of periodical studies and digital humanities, this article argues that through these journals, the third wave creates in the West a cultural environment that resembles the Soviet one on a structural level. The disagreement between individual emigre periodicals, like the two discussed here, is not simply an ideological conflict–be it between Soviet socialism and dissidence or along one of the cleavage lines that divided the emigre community. The model of the “literary‐artistic and sociopolitical journal,” now transplanted to the West in the form of Maximov's Kontinent, comes to functionally mimic the Soviet mass publication, absorbing and masking dissent without the need for active censorship. Established successfully in the mid‐1970s, this model prompts a number of subversive tactics expressed in Rozanova's editorial work. Relying on a cultural repertoire rooted in Soviet experience, Sintaksis becomes a constitutive element of the “Soviet Union on the Seine,” a cultural space that understands itself in opposition to and ideologically divorced from the Soviet Union, without, however, becoming fully independent from it.
    Published as:
    Journal article    
    Last Updated:
    5 years ago
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