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STRATEGIES OF THE WRITERS’ UNIONS IN THE SOVIET BLOC COUNTRIES IN CONVERTING THE MUTUAL LITERARY CANON: RAINIS - 1965

M. Burima
Friday 9 November 2018 by Libadmin2018

ABSTRACT

Annexation of the Baltic states within the Soviet Union in 1940 affected all spheres of life, including culture. Writers and their texts were intentionally selected for being circulated outside the territory of each subject of the USSR. One of the ideological tasks of the Soviet socialist republic writers’ unions was creating an impression that peoples incorporated in the whole territory of the USSR have willingly joined the Soviet Union and agree to replacing their national languages by a single official – Russian language. In order to fortify in the people’s awareness the myth of Soviet republics as “sisters” that live in complete agreement and welcome mutual culture exchange, the concept of internationalization was used that did not mean stressing the uniqueness of nations but overall unification according to the Soviet standards. Rainis (Jānis Pliekšāns, 1865 – 1929) is one of the major and most promoted Latvian authors outside Latvia at various historical periods. His popularity has been determined by the numerous measures of reforming the literature of the early twentieth century, conceptual application of the poetic of symbolism, thematic focus on the formation of Latvian statehood, motifs of programming a united society and a strong individual. Rainis was included in this circular by means of creating the writer’s literary reputation in accordance with the ideology of Soviet socialist realism, i.e. transformed interpretation of his personality and texts. The year of the writer’s centenary – 1965 – turned out to be a culminating point of recoding of the writer in the vulgar sociological discourse.

Keywords: literary canon, Rainis, literary reputation, socialist realism, writers’ unions.


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