Moscow, the Fourth Rome: Stalinism, Cosmopolitanism, and the by Katerina Clark

By Katerina Clark

Within the early 16th century, the monk Filofei proclaimed Moscow the "Third Rome." through the Thirties, intellectuals and artists around the world considered Moscow as a mecca of secular enlightenment. In Moscow, the Fourth Rome, Katerina Clark exhibits how Soviet officers and intellectuals, in looking to trap the mind's eye of leftist and anti-fascist intellectuals during the international, sought to set up their capital because the cosmopolitan heart of a post-Christian confederation and to rebuild it to develop into a beacon for the remainder of the world.

Clark offers an interpretative cultural historical past of the town throughout the the most important Thirties, the last decade of the nice Purge. She attracts at the paintings of intellectuals corresponding to Sergei Eisenstein, Sergei Tretiakov, Mikhail Koltsov, and Ilya Ehrenburg to make clear the singular Zeitgeist of that almost all Stalinist of classes. In her account, the last decade emerges as a big second within the prehistory of key suggestions in literary and cultural stories today-transnationalism, cosmopolitanism, and international literature. by way of bringing to gentle overlooked antecedents, she offers a brand new polemical and political context for realizing canonical works of writers similar to Brecht, Benjamin, Lukacs, and Bakhtin.

Moscow, the Fourth Rome breaches the highbrow iron curtain that has circumscribed cultural histories of Stalinist Russia, via broadening the framework to incorporate substantial interplay with Western intellectuals and developments. Its integration of the understudied overseas size into the translation of Soviet tradition treatments misunderstandings of the world-historical importance of Moscow less than Stalin.

With her research of Stalinist "cosmopolitanism" and the dream of Moscow because the mecca of global tradition, Clark once more blazes a brand new path that many others will stick with. 4 high-profile Soviet intellectuals–the "cosmopolitan patriots" Sergei Eisenstein, Mikhail Koltsov, Ilya Ehrenburg and Sergei Tretyakov–served as intermediaries with global (particularly germanophone) tradition and eu leftist intellectuals within the period of the preferred entrance, and their colourful tales give you the spine of a captivating narrative whose topics variety from literary translation and Soviet worship of the be aware to the Moscow express trials and the Spanish Civil conflict. (Sheila Fitzpatrick, college of Chicago)

This is an exceptional research of Nineteen Thirties Soviet tradition. The ebook argues persuasively that the belief of the past due Thirties as a interval of 'national Bolshevism' oversimplifies. whilst undercover agent mania gripped the kingdom, Soviet tradition strove to soak up international literature and artwork via translation, version, and imitation. Clark's richly documented account, in line with ample archival resources, sheds new mild on recognized phenomena of the interval, equivalent to Eisenstein's polymathy or Bakhtin's examine of Rabelais, and issues to fascinating oddities, for example the obsession with transgressive love that performed out opposed to the history of the purges and the Spanish Civil battle. (Catriona Kelly, Oxford University)

This is a useful learn, deserving of broad realization. (V. D. Barooshian selection 2012-03-01)

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From another perspective, however, it was an unheroic, private trip by a Benjamin who went there in a futile attempt to resolve in his favor the love triangle involving himself, the Latvian theater director Asja Lacis, and Bernhard Reich, theater critic, friend, and rival. 1 The visit of Benjamin can, then, be seen as a minor moment in the proselytizing campaign of Soviet power whereby VOKS attempts to recruit Benjamin for the Soviet cause by providing him with subsidized accommodation and assorted privileges, the sorts of practices dismissed in standard Western accounts of cultural exchange in terms of the “manipulation” of an unsuspecting intellectual by a regime bent on expanding its power.

A common slogan was “proletarianization,” and under it militants pressed for a ­monopoly for “proletarian” culture and “proletarian” culture makers, though the meaning of the term “proletarian” was ambiguous; some used it to mean those who were working-​class or proletarian, others to mean “of the Party” (the vanguard of the proletariat). This new emphasis spread to cultural bodies abroad that were oriented ­toward Moscow. 6 Intellectuals were a problematical category in this militantly “proletarian” moment when there was a very instrumentalist sense of the role of culture.

Soviet intellectuals wanted to lead the world, yet they also wanted to— had to—learn from it. 79 In addition, as was true of the Soviet Union in relation to western Europe, Rome resisted adopting Greek culture in its entirety, especially since it had a different belief system. 81 But each colonizing power had a definite sense of what that religion should be. ”82 A purity akin to the religious was also central to Russia’s “Third Rome” doctrine from the very beginning, in that Filofei’s pronouncement was effectively anti-​Catholic.

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