Aesthetic Dissent and Cultural Resistance at the Origin of the Andrei Bely Prize

  • Marco Sabbatini University of Pisa
Keywords: Samizdat journals, Leningrad underground, Second culture, Soviet dissent, Literary prize.

Abstract

During the late Soviet era, the Belyj Prize represents a symbolic emancipation for the so called ‘Second culture’ from the official cultural establishment and the prescribed canon of Socialist Realism. This unique initiative, claiming aesthetic and ideological independence, was supported by an autonomous system of circulation of texts, with structured self-publishing channels, such as the Leningrad literary journal Časy. It is not a case that the idea of this prize was born in 1978 in the editorial staff of this journal.
Supported by a text from samizdat literature of that time, the study intends to analyze the comparison of two opposite cultures at the end of the 1970s, putting in evidence the origin of the Prize, as an emblematic case of intellectual dissent, born with the aim of subverting the literary values of Soviet culture, in the name of freedom of thought and expression. At the end of the 20th century, the literary proposals the aesthetic trends that emerged from such unofficial cultural context will become dominant.

Author Biography

Marco Sabbatini, University of Pisa

Marco Sabbatini teaches Russian literature and language at the
University of Pisa. His main research interests concern modern and
contemporary Russia. Several works are dedicated to Samizdat, Leningrad
unofficial literature, intellectual dissent, emigration and cultural
relations between Italy and Soviet Russia.

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Published
2020-05-30
How to Cite
Sabbatini, M. (2020). Aesthetic Dissent and Cultural Resistance at the Origin of the Andrei Bely Prize. Between, 10(19), 408-433. https://doi.org/10.13125/2039-6597/4043