Constructing the Stalinist Body

Constructing the Stalinist Body : Fictional Representations of Corporeality in the Stalinist 1930s

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Description

Constructing the Stalinist Body brings together contemporary body theory with studies on Stalinist ideology and cultural mythology in order to elucidate the complex problem of individual authorship within the context of Stalinist ideology of the 1930s and '40s. Author Keith A. Livers examines the ways in which Andrei Platonov, Mikhail Zoshchenko, Lev Kassil' and other authors used corporeal imagery as a means of both resisting and furthering the idea of a Stalinist utopia and the ideologically purified body politic it aspired to produce. The final chapter of the book looks at collective and popular representations of the Moscow subway (completed in 1935), which was one of the most important construction projects of the 1930s and was at the same time portrayed as a microcosm of the ideal world of socialism to come.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 276 pages
  • 152.4 x 223.52 x 22.86mm | 385.55g
  • Lexington Books
  • Lanham, MD, United States
  • English
  • 0739135252
  • 9780739135259

Review quote

Keith Livers presents an insightful study of Stalinist culture's rhetoric surrounding the human body and the role it plays in creating the ideal Stalinist subject... The author examines closely the interaction between this official idealogy and values expressed in Stalin-era literary works, as well as the formation of subjectivity in Stalinist culture... Besides drawing on cultural and literary studies dealing with the Stalinist era, Livers incorporates into his methodological apparatus observations of critics working in the budding field of Soviet body-studies (e.g. Eric Naiman, Mikhail Ryklin, Mikhail Zolotonosov) and, at times, also employs a psychoanalytic approach to Stalinist literature and culture... Overall, this is a useful and interesting book that contributes in significant ways both to our understanding of Stalinst civilization in general and more specifically to the study of the human body's role as a rhetorical symbol and site of ideological power struggles in Soviet society. -- Dunja Popovic, Princeton University Slavic and East European Journal This is a useful and interesting book that contributes in significant ways both to our understanding of Stalinist civilization in general and more specifically to the study of the human body's role as a rhetorical symbol and site of ideological power struggles in Soviet society. Those interested in the work of Andrei Platonov will also find that Livers offers valuable new insights into the author's later work. Slavic and East European Journal With its original insights on an issue of current interest, this book will find a wide readership among scholars of Soviet culture. Slavic Review Comprehensive graduate and research collections. -- D. Hutchins, Buena Vista University CHOICEshow more

About Keith A. Livers

Keith A. Livers is assistant professor of Russian at the University of Texas at Austin.show more

Table of contents

Chapter 1 Stalinism Embodied Chapter 2 Turning Men into Women: Andrei Platonov in the 1930s Chapter 3 Mikhail Zoshchenko: Engineering the Stalinist Soul Chapter 4 Lev Kassil': The Soccer Match as Stalinist Ritual Chapter 5 Conquering the Underworld: The Spectacle of the Stalinist Metro Chapter 6 Stalinist Bodies on Displayshow more