Social Scientist. v 8, no. 89-90 (Dec-Jan -1) p. 52.


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KALPANA SAHNI

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Post-Revolutionary Soviet Cultural Scene

YURI BARABASH, an established Soviet expert on aesthetics, says: "The myth which makes the first post-revolutionary years a golden age5 when (ostensibly under Lenin's patronage!) avant-garde cxperimentalism blossomed, which claims that this expcrimenta-lism constituted the essence of young Soviet art, thereby captivating the 'whole world of culture'—this myth first taken up by reactionary slavists has willingly been accepted as a weapon by revisionist aestheticians and critics."1

Any foreign critic, whether he is a Marxist or not, if he dare broach this period in a positive manner is considered an anathema! ^We must perfect our ability to recognise the manifestations of hostile ideology behind . . . even the most arch-Marxist mask, and we must refine our methods of exposing these alien views."8 The irony of it is that till now very few Soviet people are aware of the mighty heritage of theirs. This period is still a closed chapter for them, and if any official Soviet comments are made, they are of a negative character.

Literary critics like Metchenko, Barabash and others have a tendency to shield themselves behind Lenin and quote his article Tarty Organisation and Party Literature", applying it to everything whenever they take up questions of aesthetics or the role of



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