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The effects of the revolution as shown in some of the works of naturalists of the NEP period Bobruk, Rita 1971

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THE EFFECTS OF THE REVOLUTION AS SHOWN IN SOME OF THE WORKS OF NATURALISTS OF THE NEP PERIOD *y RITA BOBRUK B.A., University of Western Ontario, 1 9 6 1 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS in the Department of Slavonic Studies We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA December, 1 9 7 1 In present i ng thi s.~ thesi s.-- in part i al f u l f i l m e n t - o f the-requirements fo r an advanced degree at the Un ivers i ty of B r i t i s h Columbia, I agree that the L ib ra ry sha l l make i t f ree l y ava i l ab le for reference and study. I f u r ther agree that permission for extensive copying o f th i s thes i s fo r s cho l a r l y purposes may be granted by the Head of my Department or by h i s representat ives . It is understood that copying or pub l i c a t i on o f th i s thes i s fo r f i nanc ia l gain sha l l not be allowed without my wr i t ten permiss ion. Department of The Un iver s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia Vancouver 8, Canada ABSTRACT The purpose of this paper i s to examine the results of the revolution and i t s effects on the Russian people. Since the government of the NEP period allowed relative freedom to' writers, attention i s focused on this time. The writers Kozakov, Malashkin, Grabar', and Nikiforov were chosen be-cause their naturalistic writings would give the most accur-ate picture of the time. While a l l four authors deal with the i l l s of the system, their different methods of inves t i -gation give a greater scope to a c r i t i c a l analysis. Each chapter of the paper presents the background of the author, some s t y l i s t i c elements, deficiencies in the Soviet system and psychological effects on the characters. The writers are dealt with i n the following order: CHAPTER I-Mikhail E. Kozakov "Meshchanin Adameyko" CHAPTER II-Sergey I. Malashkin "Luna s pravoy storony" CHAPTER Ill-Leonid Y. Grabar' "Lakhudrin pereulok" and "Na kirpichakh" CHAPTER IV-Georgiy K. Nikiforov U fonarya and Ztienshcnina The conclusion points out that the results of the re-volution were far from what was expected at i t s inception. - i i -Much, of the Communist ideology worked against the psycholog-i c a l make-up of the people causing endless f r u s t r a t i o n s . The f a i l u r e of the Party to consider human character brought out undesirable f a c t i o n s and destroyed some of the most worthy elements i n the society; thus, retarding the progress towards i t s own goal. / C O N T E N T S INTRODUCTION CHAPTER I Mikhail E. Kozakov "Meshchanin Adameyko" CHAPTER II Sergey I. Malashkin "Luna s pravoy storony" CHAPTER III Leonid Y. Grabar' "Lakhudrin pereulok" "Na kirpichakh" CHAPTER IV Georgiy K. Ni k i f o r o v TJ f o nary a  Zh.enshcb.ina CONCLUSION BIBLIOGRAPHY ACKNOWLEDGEMENT I wish, to express my sincere appre-c i a t i o n to Professor V a l e r i a n Revutsky f o r h i s learned d i r e c t i o n and kind con-s i d e r a t i o n extended to me during my graduate studies and the preparation of t h i s t h e s i s . INTRODUCTION The establishment of the New Economic Policy hy the U.S.S.R. i n February, 1921, brought about a significant change in the attitude of the Communist Party towards free thought and enterprise i n business and the arts. The relaxation of rules i s evident in a proclamation with regard to writers that was issued during the Party Congress of 1925: ... Communist criti c i s m should dispense with i t s tone of l i t e r a r y command ... While direct-ing literature as a whole, the Party can give l i t t l e support to any one faction of l i t e r a -ture ... The Party should express i t s support of free competition of various classifications and trends within a given sphere ...^ Although i t was s t i l l asserting Party control, the relative freedom provided hy this proclamation enabled writers to ex-press some of their views on the revolution and the l i f e i t had created i n Russia. During the nineteenth century, one of the earliest pro-ponents of a humanistic approach to l i f e was the i n t e l l i g e n t s i a . Evidence of this appears i n the works of many of the writers of the period including such major authors as Lev Tolstoy, Turgenev and Dostoyevski. It was the i n t e l l i g e n t s i a who planted, among the peasants and labourers, the idea of some i N. L. Brodskiy, et a l . , eds., Literaturnye manifesty (Moskva: Izdatel'stvo FecTeratsiya, 1929)—hereafter cited as N. L. Brodskiy—pp. 296-7. - 2 -form of human rights. The lower classes, having known no-thing but their daily t o i l , had l i t t l e time to contemplate such notions of freedom. Prom 1860, the time when the i n t e l l i g e n t -sia achieved class status, i t had been alienated because of the gap which existed between the ideal and the real. The i n t e l l i g e n t s i a wanted "to make the 'cursed Russian r e a l i t y 1 2 conform to the universal Ideas of Man and Reason." This zeal and passion for a just society led to a tendency towards 3 doctrinairism and extremism but to l i t t l e conception as to how their.ideals would function i n actual practice. To the in t e l l i g e n t s i a , ... education meant the development of talent, of ambition, of pride and imagina-t i o n — i n a word, 'individuality.' They had to free themselves and the whole populace of a State that "could accommodate only technical competence and not 'individuality'."^ Thus, the i n t e l l i g e n t s i a supported the re-volutionary movement from i t s inception; i n fact, i t was the "zemstvo," a group of the i n t e l l i g e n t s i a with p o l i t i c a l ex-5 perience who "set the h a l l r o l l i n g . " M. Malia, "What Is the Intelligentsia," The Russian  Intelligentsia, R. Pipes, ed. (New York: Columbia University Press, 1 9 b l ) , p. 12. ^B. Elkin, "The Russian Intelligentsia on the Eve of the Revolution," The Russian Intelligentsia, p. 32 . ^Malia, loc. c i t . 5 Elkin, l o c c i t . Unfortunately, the revolution did not resolve the con-f l i c t i n the relationship between the individual and society; and so the in t e l l i g e n t s i a found themselves t o t a l l y alienated when the nineteenth century culture collapsed and the Bolsheviks took control. The liberalism and humanitarianism which they loved did not materialize. Instead, after the revolution and during the Bolsheviks' struggle to dominate the government, the i n t e l l i g e n t s i a again found a state that was unwilling to accommodate 'individuality'. Accordingly, a muted h o s t i l i t y developed between the regime and the i n t e l l i g e n t s i a . The Party thought of the i n t e l l i g e n t s i a as the bourgeois class and their every movement was suspect. The government resented their not being integrated into the system and having to pay them high salaries for their services. But as Lenin pointed out, i n order to organize the State, they needed people with state and business experience that could only be found i n the old class. It was for this reason that he saidr We have to administer with the help of the people belonging to the class we have overthrown.6 The resentment of the Party was reciprocated by the in t e l l i g e n t s i a who hated them for not carrying out pre-revolutionary ideals. They also objected to the curbing of free expression and being foreed to conform to the Party line or be persecuted. R^. N. Carew Hunt, The Theory and Practice of Gommunism (Hammondsworth: Penguin Books, 1964), p. 184. What was happening bore no resemblance whatever to the magnificent prophecies of the symbolist seers or the mystical-minded radi-cals, i t simply meant epidemics, starvation, prison, e x i l e — p h y s i c a l and s p i r i t u a l annihi-lation.' Indeed, many of the i n t e l l i g e n t s i a , including a number of writers, became p o l i t i c a l exiles when the Bolsheviks eame to power. Once i n i t i a t e d , the hard Party line gained such mo-mentum that even those i n charge had l i t t l e control over i t s direction despite their evident dissatisfaction with the turn of events. Nadzhda Mandelstam, i n speaking of Bukharin, when he was at his peak of power in the mid-twenties, said that he clearly saw that the new world he was so ac-tiv e l y helping to build was horrifyingly un-li k e the original concept. Life was deviating from the blueprints, hut the blueprints had been declared sacrosanct and i t was forbidden to compare them with what was actually coming into being. Determinist theory had naturally given birth to unheard of practitioners who boldly outlawed any study of real l i f e : Why undermine the system and sow unnecessary doubt i f history was i n any ease speeding us to the appointed destination.8 The C i v i l War that followed the revolution (1918-1922) and the F i r s t World War caused such devastation that writing seemed superfluous. During this period which i s often re-ferred to as War Communism, the writers, as did the rest of the country, concentrated on survival. Due to nationalization M. Slonim, Soviet Russian Literature (New York: Oxford University Press; 1964), P» 3. 8 N. Mandelstam, Hope Against Hope transl. by M. Hayward (lew York:- Atheneum, 1970), p. 114. and centralization of both land and industries, production had f a l l e n off to a mere fraction of i t s pre-revolutionary level with the manor portion of i t going to support the Red q army. The rest was meted out to the general population with factory workers receiving more than c i v i l servants; and they, i n turn, were being given more than the former p r i v i -10 leged class. In truth, there was very l i t t l e to be had by any of the populace. "The horrors of everyday l i f e reached their apogee i n the winters of 1919-20 and 1920-21." 1 1 Every-thing that could be pried loose, including books, was burned to survive the b i t t e r winter. Despite the dire l i v i n g conditions, a gradual renewal of l i t e r a r y a c t i v i t y based on the pre-revolutionary trends of Symbolism, Imaginism and Psychological Realism began. Com-munist leaders from the old i n t e l l i g e n t s i a tried to promote literature that expressed the idealogy of the revolution; members of pre-revolutionary groups tried to reform them; young people with no l i t e r a r y experience f e l t compelled to write about their l i v e s i n those turbulent times; the sym-bolists proclaimed a messianistie role for Russia, declaring that the whole world would follow Moscow's lead i n building 9G. Vernadsky, Russian Revolution 1 9 1 7 - 1 9 3 1 (New York: Henry Holt & Company, 1932), pp. 87-8. 1 Q I b i d . , p. 77. 11 G. Struve, Russian Literature under Lenin and Stalin 19I7-I953. (Normanl Oklahoma University Press, 1971), p. 34. a new s o c i e t y . Due to the lack of publishers, paper and other materials, poetry was the f i r s t l i t e r a r y genre to develop since i t was more r e a d i l y transported by word-of-mouth than prose. This r e s u l t e d i n the cafe period of Soviet l i t e r a t u r e , character-ized by the Utopian outlook of young w r i t e r s and f i l l e d to overflowing with hopes f o r a dazzling future. By l a t e 1 9 2 0 , a number of l i t e r a r y groups had been organized. One of the groups that functioned at t h i s time was the F u t u r i s t s whose beginnings Struve traces back to as e a r l y as 1 9 1 0 . I t was e s s e n t i a l l y a revolutionary group which stressed innovations whatever the cost, r e j e c t i n g a l l great masters of the past and the two other trends i n Soviet l i t e r a t u r e , Realism and Symbolism, as w e l l . They also t r i e d to free w r i t i n g from i t s 13 dependence on the meaning of words. Because t h e i r approach was new, they considered themselves spokesmen f o r the new s o c i a l order that was developing i n Russia and so demanded an exclusive p o s i t i o n i n a r t s and l e t t e r s as i n t e r p r e t e r s of r e -volutionary s p i r i t i n return f o r service to the Communist regime. They c a l l e d upon a l l w r i t e r s to r e j e c t the past and create new a r t forms. Since every culture i s an expression of a given socio-economic o r d e r , ^ there was no room f o r l i t e r a r y t i e s with the past i n t h i s new Soviet system. 1 2 M. Slonim, op. c i t . , p. 5. 1 "5 G. Struve, £p. c i t . , pp. 14-5. *l 4-M. Slonim, op. c i t . , pp. 3 2 - 3 . - 7 -Another important group which had had i t s beginnings p r i o r to the r e v o l u t i o n and then f l o u r i s h e d afterwards was the P r o l e t c u l t . The b r a i n c h i l d of A. Bogdanov (pseudonym f o r A. A. Malinovsky), i t was based on the assumption that the working classes would advance towards Socialism along three p a r a l l e l roads: p o l i t i c a l , economic and c u l t u r a l . The c u l -15 t u r a l aspect would be exempt from any p o l i t i c a l c o n t r o l . Although not quite as r a d i c a l as the F u t u r i s t s , the P r o l e t c u l t also rejected the l i t e r a t u r e of the past, claiming that what-ever could be drawn from i t should only be used as a t o o l to forge the true l i t e r a t u r e of the c o l l e c t i v e conscience. A break with the past had to occur because everything of an i n d i v i d u a l character was condemned. A l l t r u t h lay i n e o l l e c -1 c t i v i z a t i o n . What the P r o l e t c u l t believe was l a t e r to be l a i d down as point 4 i n the aforementioned r e s o l u t i o n issued by the Central Committee of the Communist Party i n 1925: In a c l a s s society, there i s not, nor ean there be, n e u t r a l art although the c l a s s nature of art generally and l i t e r a t u r e par-t i c u l a r l y i s expressed i n forms i n f i n i t e l y more varied than, f o r example, i n p o l i t i c s . 1 ? In an attempt to r e a l i z e t h e i r dream of a c o l l e c t i v e p r o l e -t a r i a n and peasant l i t e r a t u r e , the P r o l e t c u l t , between 1917 and 1920, established schools and studios. In these schools, i 15 G. Struve, op. c i t . , pp. 27-8. (For r e s o l u t i o n s passed by the P r o l e t c u l t and essays on same, see Literaturnye  manifesty» pp. 130-46.) N. L. Brodskiy, op. c i t . , pp. 130-1. 1 7 I b i d . , p. 293. - 8 -"bourgeois specialists" were to teach the workers to write 18 poetry and prose. In 1920, a portion of the Proleteult broke away to form an independent organization called Kuznitsa or the Smithy. Although this group i s often considered total l y proletarian, not a l l the members were of true proletarian origin. The com-mon bond among them was their "acceptance of Communist ideol-1Q ogy that qualified one as a proletarian writer." J In spite of their conformity to Party ideals, Kuznitsa followed the lead of Proleteult i n insi s t i n g on keeping their writing free from government interference. However, because of the themes used by members of Kuznitsa, there was no conflict with the Party. The g l o r i f i c a t i o n of collectivism and factory labour satisfied Party demands, but the forms used to present them were romantic and the imagery, grandiloquent. For this reason, they were c r i t i c i z e d by the younger proletarians for being ... romantic and abstract, withdrawn from the world of l i v i n g human beings and quite uncon-scious in their poetry of the real physiognomy of actual p r o l e t a r i a n s . 2 0 It was mainly this group of younger writers who, at a later date, tried to maintain objectivity by placing themselves deliberately i n opposition to the " p o l i t i c a l poster" i n litera t u r e . For roughly a decade after this, the Smithy 18 G. Struve, op. c i t . , pp. 27-8. 1 9 I b i d . 20 E. J. Brown, Russian Literature since the Revolution (New York: C o l l i e r Books, I9b3), p. HT1 - 9 -maintained that literature must not he made a propaganda wea-21 pon for Party policy. With the establishment i n 1921 of the New Economic Policy founded by Lenin to offset the catastrophic decline i n indus-try and agriculture and the resulting famine, epidemics and malnutrition, prosperity increased. Small businesses sprang up, production multiplied and much to the dismay of the pro-l e t a r i a t , the "meshchanin" or " P h i l i s t i n e " became a prominent force i n society. Publishing houses, including a number of privately owned ones, were established and prose became the leading l i t e r a r y form. Along with a relaxation of economic restrictions, censorship was also less stringent. In 1922, a l i t e r a r y group called the Serapion Brothers boldly issued a manifesto demanding that "a work of art be original and real and l i v e i t s own particular l i f e independent of i t s source of 22 material." The most outspoken of any of the groups at this time, the Serapion Brothers proclaimed freedom from regimen-tation for a l l writing. They asserted that the p o l i t i c a l af-f i l i a t i o n s of the author were of no consequence when the merit of a piece of literature was being considered. 21 V. Zavalishin, Early Soviet Writers (New York: Fredrick A. Praeger, 1958), p. 158. (See LiTeraturnye manifesty, pp. 148-73 for additional material on the aims and ideals of Kuznitsa. 22 M. Zoshchenko, "Druzheskie parodiy," Literaturnye zapiski, No. 2 (June 23, 1922), pp. 8-9. - 10 -Naturally, such defiance did not go unchallenged hy Marx-i s t c r i t i c s and i t gave rise to some stormy controversy. The Party i t s e l f , however, had not yet taken an o f f i c i a l stand against the Serapions. Its tolerance towards a l l non-conform-i s t s i s evident throughout the NEP period. A proclamation was issued advising how to deal with them. Regarding the attitude towards "fellow-travellers ," i t i s necessary to keep this i n mind: 1) their differentiation; 2) the significance of many of them as qualified specialists of l i t e r a r y techniques; 3) the presence of a v a c i l l a t i n g attitude i n this stratum of writers.23 This l i b e r a l attitude with regard to writers remained apparent into the f i r s t years of the Five Year Plan. It was the relaxed l i t e r a r y climate discussed above that enabled writers to express their thoughts more freely than at any other time since the revolution. This produced some ex-citing trends i n Soviet liter a t u r e . A form of writing which is often called naturalistic became popular. Some of the authors whose works showed this naturalistic tendency were Mikhail Kozakov, Sergey Malashkin, Leonid Grahar' and Georgiy Nikiforov. Although a l l these authors were i n some way active i n Communist organizations, their writings were not over-shadowed hy this.. The relative freedom allowed them by the government at this time permitted them to show the r e a l i t i e s of the period of reconstruction. This naturalistic bent made 23 N. L. Brodskiy, op. c i t . , p. 295. - 11 -their writings far removed from the " p o l i t i c a l poster" l i t e r a -ture and showed distinct beginnings of the true psychological novel. Their writings demonstrated that the new order after the revolution was not the panacea the country had expected. The Soviet system was found to have as many fa i l i n g s as the Tsar-i s t regime. The common man fared no better than previously, for the i l l s of each system, though different, were strangely similar. Man's nature had not changed and he worked primarily for his own personal advancement and material gains with no regard for the needs of the country as a whole. Many oppor-tunistic elements from the lower classes rose to governing levels and fleeced the common working man. Aristocracy had been replaced hy bureaucracy but the results were s t i l l the same. Although much effort was made to improve the l i v i n g conditions of the ignorant and downtrodden, the task proved a d i f f i c u l t one. They themselves, i n fact, perpetuated their former kind of l i f e through ingrained attitudes and bigotry. However l i t t l e use the proletariat had for the i n t e l l i g e n t s i a , they were forced into giving them responsible positions i n the Party, for nowhere i n the working class were their s k i l l s a v a i l -able. Thus, the 'has beens' were allowed to collaborate with the new regime. On the whole, the results of the revolution were dis-heartening. It had negated the previous system and morality hut f a i l e d to provide anything i n i t s stead. This created a a great deal of turmoil and chaos e s p e c i a l l y among young people. The following t h e s i s w i l l examine a sampling of works w r i t t e n between 1925 and 1930 by some of the "fellow-t r a v e l l e r s " : i n order to point out what these w r i t e r s considered the short-comings of the system during the reconstruction period. A short l i t e r a r y a n a l ysis of each author's works and an attempt to evaluate the psychological e f f e c t s on the populace, as r e -presented by the characters i n t h e i r s t o r i e s , w i l l also be made. "Meshchanin Adameyko" - Mikh a i l Kozakov "Luna s pravoy storony" - Sergey Malashkin "Lakhudrin pereulok" and "Na kirpichakh" - Leonid Grabar' Zhenshcnina - Georgiy N i k i f o r o v CHAPTER I Kozakov was an active member of revolutionary groups from the beginning of the revolution and, as mentioned in the i n -troduction, a prominent member of Communist committees u n t i l 24 his death. However, he did not write in the " p o l i t i c a l poster" s t y l e — t h e style previously recommended for dedicated Soviet writers and then enforced after the NEP period. In the tale "Meshchanin Adameyko," not only does Kozakov not portray the greatness of the working class or the peasant, but repre-sentatives of either of these classes do not even enter into the story. His r e a l i s t i c writing leads the compilers of Russkiye sovetskiye p i s a t e l i prozaiki to say: ... in 1927—the tale Meshchanin Adameyko /was published/ reflecting the deformed Happenings of the NEP period.25 It seems that, according to Soviet interpretation, the un-savoury happenings were due to the leniency of the NEP period and not at a l l a result of the revolutionary process. As pointed out by V. Zavalishin in Early Soviet Writers, 26 Kozakov "applied Dostoyevski 1s methods." Zavalishin likens 24 Russkiye sovetskiye p i s a t e l i prozaiki (Leningrad: Minist'erstvo kul'tury RSFSR, 1 9 b 4 ) , Tom II, p. 4 6 8 . 2 5Ibid.. Zavalishin, op. c i t . 27 Kozakov's tale "Meshchanin Adameyko" to Dostoyevski 1s Crime and Punishment, but i t seems to be patterned on a combination of both Crime and Punishment and The Brothers Karamazov i n i t s psychological themes. As i n Crime and Punishment, i n which Raskolnikov k i l l s the old money-lending harridan to r i d the world of an undesirable element, so Adameyko believes that 28 Varvara Semienovna i s what he ca l l s "wild flesh" and her hastened death would help eradicate a blight from this earth. In commenting on the story, Zavalishin says: Adameyko plans to k i l l a r i c h woman i n order to help a poor family, but indueespn another man to commit the actual murder. y This i s not so. Adameyko neither actually plans to k i l l her nor arranges for someone else to do the k i l l i n g . They want only to rob her. Don't forget ... Hit me f i r s t , — I w i l l f a l l i n a faint, then you can turn to her, understand? ... So that she wouldn't be suspicious i n case of something ... i f someone interferes ...50 "Meshchanin Adameyko" resembles Dostoyevski's The Brothers Karamazov i n that Adameyko, as Ivan does regarding his father, 27 Zavalishin translates "meshchanin" as " l i t t l e man," but Kozakov seems to imply the stronger translation of the word— that i s — " p e t t y bourgeois," "P h i l i s t i n e " and "narrow-minded and vulgar." 28 M. E. Kozakov, "Meshchanin Adameyko," T r i poyesti (Leningrad: Izdatel'stvo pisatel'ey v Leningrade" 1 9 3 4 ), p. 81 29 Zavalishin, op. c i t . •50 Kozakov, op. c i t . , p. 140. voices the opinion that Varvara should he k i l l e d . The matter i s then taken out of his hands by fate. Adameyko and his ac-complice, Sukhov, rob the old woman, hut neither of them k i l l s her. , She dies of a heart attack during the confrontation with Sukhov. The log didn't have time to smash the petrified face covered with fine perspira-tion: Varvara Semienovna swayed gently and f e l l heavily backwards. On that very day, after an invitation from the investigating body of the inquest, the doctor admitted secretly that the widow Postrunkova died of a heart attack. Adameyko's i n a b i l i t y to l e t his part in the crime remain hid-den again makes him similar to Raskolnikov i n Crime and  Punishment. Because of his obsession for ridding the world of parasites, he cannot refrain from subconsciously exposing his complicity. He wants to conceal the crime but inadvertently implicates himself hy giving one of Varvara's fresh tarts to a child in the yard, then grabbing i t away half eaten. A strange force seems to he driving him because he also takes a number of these tarts to Sukhov's children. The argument which en-sues between Sukhov and Adameyko i s later related to the investigator by Sukhov's young daughter, Galochka, and results i n Adameyko's arrest. The point of view i n the tale i s that of the omniscient author in the person of the narrator who makes the story more 5 1 I h i d . , p. 145. - 16 -plausible "by keeping the reader constantly aware of his pre-sence. He maintains suspense by using a reverse method. He f i r s t reveals that Adameyko has been sentenced for a crime he didn't commit; then, through a series of flashbacks, he slowly unfolds the actual sequence of events. The suspense i s heightened because the author does not present the flash-backs i n chronological order, but i n a manner of an amateur raconteur who relates the incidents as he remembers them, leaving the details to be explained at a future time. He also includes details calculated to mislead. When Adameyko picks up Olga's handkerchief at varvara's while the police are i n -vestigating the crime, the reader i s l e f t wondering what role she played i n i t . A s k i l f u l use of foreshadowing further enriches the story. The reader i s already aware of the outcome, but Adameyko i s not when he says: 111 said this to you, 'They w i l l slay people and this i s a necessity. 1 That i s so. You have taken these words to be a malicious joke. Perhaps i t i s a joke and a fantasy now, both for you and for me. Because they have not yet sl a i n either me or you." "Save me, Lord, Ardal'on Porfirievich! ... To whom are we with you necessary? ..." shuddered the neighbour. "That's just i t , that we are total l y unnecessary ... — " Adameyko repeated after her.32 Adameyko does not qualify his "they". As i t turns out, "they", Ibid., p. 28. - 17 -Adameyko and Sukhov, were responsible for precipitating Varvara*s heart attack and her death while "they," the courts, brought about Adameyko's supposed untimely demise. The elimin-ation of both these people gave credance to Adameyko's peculiar theory of justice, that a l l unproductive elements of society should be destroyed by whatever means possible. Kozakov makes use of another l i t e r a r y device hy a r t f u l l y including ironic elements i n his tale. The reader can see the irony when Varvara makes reference to her dog. A dog also understands i t s own business; in i t s own way, i t acts with justice; and Adameyko replies: Here i t i s , a dog's justice: feed i t — bribe i t ! — i t w i l l s e l l i t s friendship with i t s master. There, where there i s treacle cake i n the hands—there justice doesn't wear a peaked cap.53 This passage i s ironic because both varvara and Adameyko were erroneous i n their interpretations and consequently perished. Both dogs were exact reflections of their masters, varvara was a trusting soul and she expected her dog to protect her. However, her dog was trusting too, and so Adameyko was able to tri c k i t into not creating a disturbance when Sukhov entered the apartment. Had Adameyko been more intuitive about the direct t r a i t relationship between dog and master, he wouldn't have fa i l e d to miss the significance of Sukhov*s dog biting him immediately after he had fed i t . It was an obvious 5 3 I b i d . , pp. 24-5. forewarning of the treatment he would later receive from Sukhov. The author's use of the language further adds c r e d i b i l i t y to the narrative. The speech of the narrator i s straight-forward, almost journalistic in style. However, colloquial-34 isms such as "les rubit' - pod nogi ne smotret'" and adding "-s" to various words such as "dozvol'te-s," "vami-s," and 35 "nikak-s" are included i n the dialogue to give the characters class colour. Kozakov occasionally indulges in a play on words, such as the bandying about of the word "nuzhno" i n the example cited i n #19 above. The f i r s t time, i t takes on the meaning of "Why would anyone want to do that to us?"; the second time, i t has i t s actual meaning of "necessary." In his use of patois, an obvious departure from the class i c a l traditions of pre-revolutionary literature, Kozakov was following the general example set by post-revolutionary writers. Many of them were s t i l l i d e a l i s t i c enough to think that the country was being turned over to the masses; there-fore, their literature had to be in the idiom of the street. Throughout the story, Kozakov brings out shortcomings of the new Soviet system. He f i r s t directs c r i t i c i s m at the legal processes by pointing out that Adameyko was convicted for a crime he didn't commit; 3 4 I b i d . , p. 137. 3 5 I b i d . , pp. 114-5. and the court, convinced of his responsi-b i l i t y and maturity, brought i n i t s verdict completely i n accordance with the circum-stances of the a f f a i r . But here one must point out that Ardal'on Adameyko did not k i l l , although the court did not admit the error, count-ing him a murderer. 36 Rather than concentrating on the evidence that applied to the case, the prosecutor questioned Adameyko so closely about his relationship with both people and animals that one of the ob-servers said that he was about to c a l l the white pommeranian to the witness stand. As further evidence of questionable courtroom procedure, Kozakov reveals that, while the doctor's secret report that varvara died of a heart attack was admiss-ible i n Sukhov's defence, Adameyko was s t i l l convicted of her murder. Kozakov's censure of the courts i s not a novelty per se, for he patterns Adameyko's t r i a l after that of Ivan i n Dostoyevski's The Brothers Karamazov. Kozakov also reaches back into an earlier period of social unrest, that of nine-teenth century England. The humorous twists i n his outline of courtroom procedures can be found i n the social satires of Charles Dickens. The methods of investigation used by Dimitriy K i r i l l o v i c h Zhigadlo are far from satisfactory. He based the arrest of Adameyko and Sukhov on the confused stories he extracted from Galochka when she and her brother had been brought to Zhigadlo' 3 6 I b i d . , p. 7. - 2 0 -home to play with his children. The reader has also, i n a l l probabil-i t y noticed a gross error i n Galoehka's story. Adameyko*s conversation with both the Sukhovs that frightened her, which occurred during the f i r s t days of their acquaintance, she attributed to a later time; yes, besides that, she interpreted, in her own way, this conversation which her childish imagination promoted more than a l i t t l e and blended i t immediately with her memories. Dimitriy K i r i l l o v i c h , of course, could not have known about this mistake, but i t served as the best proof of his guesses in regard to the true culprit i n the crime. Kozakov does not f a i l to point out that a secret police was already in operation at this time and had Adameyko under sur-veillance, not because he had committed a crime, but because of his radical opinions: Zhigadlo ... showed some haste i n his ef-fort to reveal the crime: the data of rou-tine secret service investigation, imparted to him somewhat later, would have served as the best proof for Dimitriy K i r i l l o v i c h 1 s guess—and the guilty one i n the murderg would s t i l l not have avoided his fate. The investigation which evidently had begun for no apparent reason with Adameyko's f i r s t v i s i t to Sukhov had uncovered a number of unfavourable points about him. This evidently was not an unusual procedure. Nadezhda Mandelstam quotes a say-ing of the exterminating profession, "Give us a man and we'll 39 make a case." 3 7 Ibid p. 1 3 4 . 3 8 Ibid pp. 1 2 2 - 3 . 3 9 Mandelstam, op. c i t p. 14. With regard to Adameyko, the secret p o l i c e found that h i s constant preoccupation with eliminating unproductive elements i n Soviet society was dangerous to those i n power. Since V.I.P.'s l i k e D i m i t r i y K i r i l l o v i c h were not contributing to the growth of a peoples* nation but were using t h e i r p o s i t i o n s to aggrandize themselves, they, according to Adameyko's plan, were i n l i n e f o r l i q u i d a t i o n . Therefore, although Adameyko was not g u i l t y , h i s involvement i n Varvara's death provided them with a convenient j u s t i f i c a t i o n f o r disposing of him. A rapid s o l u t i o n of the case would also demonstrate Zhigadlo's e f f i c i e n c y . The irony behind Adameyko's co n v i c t i o n l a y i n the fa c t that the posi t i o n s of those i n power were no more secure because of i t . They, i n turn, could be t r i e d and convicted on s i m i l a r pretexts. Kozakov also c r i t i c i z e s the newspaper f o r i t s biased s t y l e of reporting: ... we have s i g n i f i c a n t l y outlined the si t u a t i o n s which must he explained and perhaps, i n doing so, we have already evinced i n the reader an i l l - d i s p o s e d and h o s t i l e a t t i t u d e towards Ardal'on P o r f i r i e v i c h whom we do not p i t y hut whom we cannot picture as c o l d l y and as one-sidedly as was done i n the newspaper account of t h i s matter.4-0 The newspaper, i n an e f f o r t to d i s c r e d i t Adameyko and f i n d favour with those i n power, purposely selected unfavourable facets of h i s character and magnified them, completely 4 Q I b i d . , pp. 7-8. - 22 -omitting any facts pertinent to the case. By using this method of reporting that could he referred to as "poverkhnostny" or "superficial", i t was able to convict Adameyko even before the case could be heard. The Communist revolution was known as the great l e v e l l e r . It was supposed to have equalized l i v i n g standards and to have removed great disparities which had existed between the l i f e styles of the aristocrats and the working class. Unfortun-ately, this did not materialize effectively. Kozakov effec-tively contrasts the l i v i n g conditions of the Sukhov family and the Zhigadlos and to a lesser extent those of Varvara Semienovna to reveal the disparity which actually existed. The Sukhovs lived i n cramped, sparsely furnished quarters: they had two small, dark rooms for four people and only two chairs so that when Adameyko visited, Sukhov sat on a piece of log, Galoehka on a trunk. The Zhigadlo family, on the other hand, had a spacious, lavishly furnished apartment with a special room for the children and a study for Zhigadlo. Varvara too had more space for herself than the Shukhovs had for the whole family. Sukhov was not employed, nor was his wife. In fact, money was so scarce i n the Sukhov household that, i n spite of the seriousness of the young son's i l l n e s s , they could not have called the doctor had Adameyko not volun-teered to pay. Kozakov does not make any direct statements about Zhigadlo's financial status, but he makes i t evident that they never lacked resources, varvara had far more money - 23 -than she could use and so was lending i t out to Adameyko1s wife on a short term basis. The Sukhovs obtained money for basic necessities from the f r u i t s of their children's begging in front of the bakery. When Adameyko brought them pastries, they would voraciously devour them. These f r u i t tarts were similar to the ones Varvara fed unstintingly, not only to her dog, but also to the mice which inhabited her quarters. 4^ The Zhigadlos, too, besides having plenty to eat, could always afford to keep a large jar of sweets on hand. After the Communist government took control of a l l indus-try, many private enterprises were forced to close. This i s why both Sukhov and Adameyko were unemployed. As Adameyko 42 phrases i t , he "did not find himself i n the Soviet service." Kozakov indicates that the system was somewhat at fault i n this instance; and i t was because of this lack of constructive em-ployment that Ardal'on Adameyko met his downfall. In "Meshchanin Adameyko," a l l the characters presented by Kozakov were extremely negative and not at a l l likeable. A l l but Adameyko seemed to l i v e by the "every man for himself" philosophy, each greedily grasping for everything he could get. This psychotic materialism i n the Russian people had already ;^When Varvara's husband was on his deathbed, he jok-ingly said that he was not leaving her but would come back after the funeral as a mouse. Since she had no way of t e l l -ing which mouse was her husband, when more than one appeared, she- fed them a l l and gave them the run of the house. 4 2 I b i d . , p. 21 . - 24 -been pointed out by Zoshchenko i n his works and i s further ex-amined by Kozakov. Varvara Simienovna was obsessed with money and food, she exhibited her greed by her decision to rent one of her rooms despite the great sums of money she was hoard-ing. Zhigadlo had acquired a preponderance of household pos-sessions as i f the weight of such goods would make his position more secure and harder to overturn. With the Sukhovs, i t was a more desperate kind of avar-ice which arose partly from their struggle for survival and partly from innate characteristics. Their basic needs drove peodor Sukhov to attack a corn merchant i n a dark lane; and the Sukhovs1 pettiness of character perpetuated the hypocri-t i c a l friendship with Adameyko. They found i t expedient to be friends as long as Adameyko was bringing them g i f t s and helping them fi n a n c i a l l y . When i t became evident that Adameyko would be of no further use to them, they both turned on him. Sukhov l a i d a l l the blame on Adameyko for leading him astray, notwithstanding the fact that he had already been immersed i n a l i f e of crime prior to this; i.e., forcing his children to beg, attacking the deaf-mute merchant i n the lane, etc. This i s what i t i s , — y o u swine ... It comes out like this, that you have driven me crazy ... You have dragged another man after you.43 Olga Samsonovna, Sukhov's wife, displayed a definite lack of 4 5 I b i d . , p. 168. - 2 5 -morals tod i n encouraging Ardal'on to make advances without having any intention of returning his affection, i t i s ironic that Adameyko should have chosen such spineless undesirable types to try to help l i f t them from their abject poverty. It seems evident that the people that Adameyko chose as the epi-tome of the glorious working class would have been even greater vultures than Varvara or Dimitriy K i r i l l o v i c h given the opportunity. In Ardal'on Porfirievich Adameyko, Kozakov portrays vividly a schizophrenic personality. Our anti-hero was as negative and unpleasant as the rest of the characters, save for one aspect: his devout belief that the world should be freed from a l l parasites, allowing each man to get his just desserts. Slaughtering a l l these leeches, according to Adameyko, would be the only way to assure a successful out-come to the revolution. The irony of this belief comes from the fact that Adameyko knew that he, himself, was one of these parasites. This ambivalence was i t s e l f indicative of schizo-phrenia. On the one hand, Adameyko considered himself a man of knowledge who could speak authoritatively and who had a mission in l i f e — t o convince people that a l l the human chaff he dis-posed of. On the other, he knew that he was parasitic and subconsciously tried to destroy himself. His reasoning was confused and like a broken kaleidescope, i t constantly shifted, - 26 -pausing i n bizarre tangles rather than i n a pattern. Because the revolution and events that followed elimin-ated his job, Adameyko had to justify his existence in some way. As a result, he spent a l l his time trying to project an aura of superior intelligence. Another man would derive pleasure by spending money on murder or a prostitute, but you—you spend money to show off your strangeness and intellect.4-4 Thus, Adameyko1s friendship with Peodor Sukhov and his gener-osity towards him resulted, not from a l t r u i s t i c motives, hut from egotistical desire to propound his revolutionary theories to a captive audience. He resembles Kavalerov, in Alesha's Envy, who exhibited a similar t r a i t . Kavalerov spent a great deal of time and energy trying to prove to the disinterested audience how clever he was. The Sukhovs were not the only people constantly subjected to Adameyko's oratory, for ... often i n the evenings he would go into the house manager's room and re-count at length, to those present, the diverse news items. They were p a r t i -cularly and unusually interesting i n Ardal'on P o r f i r i e v i c h 1 s retelling.45 He considered himself extremely knowledgeable and took pride in deluding his listeners. ... from an observer's viewpoint, that Ardal'on Porfirievich has a close 4 4 I b i d . , p. 17. 4 5 I b i d . , p. 23. - 27 -connection with those who actively d i -rected the revolution i n the land.4° In his maniacal idealism, Adameyko prescribed such radical measures that his listeners considered him anarchistic. He thought that the government i n power was not doing enough for the people, but that eventually they would get around to doing more. Although he was unaware of i t , his advocacy of a purge of a l l parasitic and undesirable characters from the society amounted to an outright declaration for the overthrow of the government. The greed, corruption, bribery, nepotism, and superfluity among the government o f f i c i a l s equaled, i f not surpassed, that of the general public. Adameyko wanted to leave only good people to develop the new land; but there could be no really "good" people, for a l l those who reached positions of responsibility were eventually corrupted by their power. Therefore, he was i n r e a l i t y prescribing anarchy. When Kozakov opens his narrative and introduces his readers to Adameyko, he states: The thing which most of a l l forced one to feel some singularity i n this man was his age. And, indeed, Ardal'on Porfirievich's years least of a l l could serve as an ex-planation of his emotional state and his convictions: at that time, when the name of Ardal'on Porfirievich appeared i n the newspaper for the second and last time, he was only twenty-nine years old.47 This information, i n i t s e l f , i s of l i t t l e significance except 4 6 I b i d . , p. 30. 4 7 I b i d . , p. 7. - 28 -that the reader gets a totall y different impression from reading the story. If the author had not c l a r i f i e d i t at the beginning, one would assume that Adameyko was at least forty-five years old. He, like other characters, lacked v i t a l i t y and s p i r i t . A l l the people, except those engaged in some form of profiteering, were prematurely aged and led a meaningless, undirected existence. The author subtly implies that they were different prior to the revolution. The revolutionary movement, like a vampire, craved fresh blood and made victims of the Russian people, drawing their l i f e blood and leaving only hollow, human shells. The stark r e a l i t y of l i f e i n the Soviet Union was impossible to tolerate so the people had to create a fantasy i n order to survive emotionally and mentally. They lived not for the present, but always anticipated a brighter and more promising future. The saying " z i f bez fantaziy—sovetskaya skazka" could be applied to the whole period of the construction of Communism. A plodding unresponsiveness governed Adameyko a major part of the time. His force of character appeared only dur-ing his manic periods when he was unable to control his ac-tions. These spells of forced hyper-activity usually came after lengthy periods of fantasizing. As Adameyko says about fantasies: ... "Are they frightening because they smack of reality?! ... Fantasy—a f r i g h t -ening matter." Ardal'on Porfirievich continued his thought. "And notice i n - 29 -what /aspect/ i s frightening. In that, everything you imagine i n your f a n t a s i e s — w i l l , without f a i l , occur in l i f e ! ... /You can think any fantasy/. Only notice This, that i t w i l l , without f a i l , he pos-sible and you w i l l , also without f a i l , want to touch i t like an object ... I /am speak-ing/ about that kind /of f antasy_/which can i n v i s i b l y be found" in line with l i f e , that's what ... Its character, so to speak, and the character of l i f e and related!"48 Olga Samsonovna became one of Ardal'on's prime fantasies. As i s typical of a schizophrenic, he was both strongly at-tracted to and repelled by her. This obsession, which was somehow linked with and symbolic of his revolutionary ideals, had him so mesmerized that he was powerless against i t . Like a runaway horse, i t needed an external force to bring i t to a halt. Adameyko was l e f t at peace only after Olga's near fa t a l accident with the streetcar. This accident freed him of his unnatural fascination for her and, through symbolic transference, of his burning desire to f u l f i l l the purpose of the revolution. Kozakov gives no evidence that Adameyko1s mental imbal-ance was caused solely by the re v o l u t i o n and the subsequent regime; but they thwarted his zealous desire to help create a Utopia, and consequently brought his latent schizophrenia to the surface. The s o c i a l injustices gave him an object for his a c t i v i t i e s and the bureaucratic processes made whatever he did t o t a l l y ineffectual. 4 8 I b i d . , pp. 27-8. - 30 -Adameyko's powers of observation were, nevertheless, acute; and i n h i s rantings, he uttered a number of undeniable truths . He saw the nation as a f l o c k of vultures preying on each other. He predicted that those i n power would carry out mass slaughter i n the name of the common good. He noticed, too, that the suicide rate had increased s i g n i f i c a n t l y among the young people of c e r t a i n c l a s s e s . These a l l e g a t i o n s could hardly have been i n harmony with the image that those with p o l i t i c a l power wanted to p r o j e c t . Since Adameyko was aware that those who did not deserve t h e i r i n f l u e n t i a l p o s i t i o n s would take revenge on him, h i s involun-tary drive to a c t u a l i z e the revolutionary i d e a l was tantamount to s u i c i d e . In t h i s respect, he resembled many young people throughout the country. They were, as i n Socrates' analogy to himself, l i k e the gadfly; and the State was l i k e the horse. Powerless to a f f e c t the changes that the system so d r a s t i c a l l y needed and that they so ardently desired to bring about, the young people were constantly f r u s t r a t e d and eventually des-troyed hy that which they desired to change. Although Kozakov only h i n t s at these f r u s t r a t i o n s , the next author to he d i s -cussed, Sergey Malashkin, t r e a t s them i n greater depth i n h i s story "Luna s pravoy storony." CHAPTER II Sergey Malashkin's wr i t t e n works should have been an ex-c e l l e n t advertisement f o r the Russian r e v o l u t i o n . The son of a poor peasant, he started working at the age of twelve. He joined the revolutionary group i n 1906 and continued working with the governing group a f t e r the r e v o l u t i o n . S u r p r i s i n g l y , Malashkin's p o l i t i c a l career and w r i t i n g s t y l e bore no r e l a -t i o n to each other. The l i t e r a r y a c t i v i t y of Malashkin i s a demonstrative example of a g l a r i n g r i f t between the maintenance of the crea-t i v i t y of the a r t i s t and h i s general p o l i t i c a l p o s i t i o n . The object of Malashkin's c r e a t i v i t y /v7as_/ the repre-sentation of a revolutionary epoch; but t h i s representation was given from a po-s i t i o n of heightened and over-sensitive i n t e r e s t i n the dark aspects and perver-sions of domestic conditions. In t h i s sense, h i s t a l e "The Moon from the Right- ,Q hand Side" i s e x t r a o r d i n a r i l y demonstrative. The story, which e l i c i t e d t h i s sharp c r i t i c i s m , "Luna s pravoy storony" - "The Moon from the Right-hand Side" was written i n a s t y l e which bears l i t t l e s i m i l a r i t y to " p o l i t i c a l poster" l i t e r a t u r e . Because of h i s deviation from the pre-ferr e d mode of expression, the author begins with an apology to some of h i s readers and a plea to them to examine the l a s t chapter f o r the true ending of the story. Both the introduc-t i o n and the f i n a l chapter are s u f f i c i e n t l y divorced from the Literaturnaya entsiklopedia (Moscow: i z d a t e l ' s t v o kommunisticheskoy akademii, 1929-39), Tom VI, p. 735. rest of the tale that they appear to have been added in order to make the story more palatable to the government and thus, publishahle. Malashkin was a typical example of a writer who wrote only from memory about what he had observed. Although he lacked great imagination, his perception was keen as was his insight into the emotional machinations of the people about whom he wrote. In the introduction, Malashkin states that an author "should write only about what he sees with his own eyes and feels with his own heart." The result of this credo i s a candid tale which reveals much of the sordid l i f e after the revolution, and the mental anguish this way of l i v i n g caused the young people. Because he wrote accurately about their problems, Malashkin was extremely popular with the Soviet youth. In 1927 writes Struve, "Luna s pravoy storony" was one of the "sensational successes of the year and went through 50 several impressions." The very t r a i t s which enhanced his popularity with the youth brought him v i t r i o l i c c r i t i c i s m from the government. ... When he writes about the sexual disso-luteness of the heroine of the tale, the Komsomol member, Tanya, /The author refers to her as7 "the wife of Twenty-two husbands." Malashkin did not succeed i n presenting the question of the social reasons for this G. Struve, 25 Years of Soviet Russian L i t e r a t u r e — 1918-1943 (London: George Routledge & Sons Ltd., 1946), p. 100. - 33 -promiscuity. As a r e s u l t , he made a ground-l e s s , unfounded accusation of lack of d i s -c i p l i n e against the Communist youth. The story was sharply censured by Communist c r i t i c s . 5 1 Malashkin's r e a l i s t i c d e s c r i p t i o n of the l i v e s of youth was not an accusation, nor was i t groundless and unfounded. Dur-ing the twenties, a group of Komsomols i n Sochi was shot f o r 52 debauchery. Malashkin was t r u t h f u l l y reporting a s i t u a t i o n which the government hoped to keep hidden u n t i l i t could be stamped out. I t was f o r t h i s reason that Malashkin's works and, indeed, Malashkin himself disappeared from the Russian l i t e r a r y scene. Of the t a l e s he l e f t behind, the most v i v i d i s "Luna s pravoy storony.". Malashkin uses several methods i n h i s pre-sentation of the t a l e : The heroine's brother, Kolya, acts as narrator to give a h i s t o r i c a l background of h i s s i s t e r Tanya, and a reason f o r t e l l i n g the story. Malashkin then becomes the narrator who, using Tanya's l e t t e r s to her brother, out-l i n e s the events which occurred i n her young l i f e . By quoting from her d i a r i e s , he admits the reader to Tanya's stream of consciousness and exposes him to the turmoil i n her soul . Thus, Malashkin shows himself keenly attuned to the climate of the times, p a r t i c u l a r l y i n h i s observations of psychological patterns. 51 ' Literaturnaya entsiklopedia, op. c i t . 52 Mandelstam, op. c i t . , p. 1 1 4 . - 34 -Malashkin uses detailed description to depict vividly both character and setting. Psychological t r a i t s are also revealed through his almost caricature-like portrayal of the various personalities. Evidence of this i s found i n his des-cription of Isayka Chuzhachek, a young Komsomol member. Isayka Chuzhachek was of short sta-ture; his face and body were puny; on his thin face, which resembled a shuttle, he had only three distinguishing features: a large red nose, wide yellow protruding teeth, and two beady eyes the colour of coffee grounds which, notwithstanding the unusual movement of Isayka Chuzhachek's whole body, were unmoving and seemed dead. Isayka Chuzhachek was dressed, not only well, but i n a refined manner: He had on a grey checked suit, a white shirt with blue stripes, the end of which was tucked into his trousers and tied around with a wide yellow leather belt. Beneath his sharp hooked chin was an extremely large bright blue necktie with a jutting knot and ends extending almost to Isayka Chuzhachek's feeble shoulders. His fore-lock was not bad e i t h e r — i t was combed to the right i n such a strange way that one began to fear for Isayka Chuzhachek's head; any minute the forelock, by i t s own weight, would pull his head over and break the long thin straw-like neck. His footwear was uncommon—sharp-toed suede shoes and large checked grey socks. Looking at and studying Isayka Chuzhachek, i t was d i f f i -cult to comprehend a l l the colours of his extraordinary figure, and so i t was also impossible to understand the logic of his thought ... 53 i n this outstanding example of satire on the Komsomol, Malashkin laughs sadly at misguided youth, inflated with s e l f -importance but directionless and caught i n a gyre. Prom the S. Malashkin, "Luna s pravoy storony" (Moscow: Moldaya Gvardiya, 1926), pp. 34-5. - 35 -preceding p i c t u r e , the viewer perceives a very confused and confusing young man. Outwardly, Isayka i s self-assured, con-c e i t e d , and somewhat foppish; inwardly, h i s thoughts are i n imhroglio while h i s soul, which i s mirrored i n h i s eyes, i s dead. The i n t r o d u c t i o n of Peter, Tanya's old f r i e n d from the v i l l a g e , makes the l i v e s of Isayka and h i s cohorts appear even more f u t i l e and licentious.. Peter i s portrayed as a rather s e l f - c o n f i d e n t hut compassionate young man: the a n t i t h e s i s of Tanya and her Moscovite f r i e n d s . Tanya became acutely aware of the difference between them when she compared an innocent night spent i n a haystack with Peter and her promiscuous l i f e among the Komsomol delinquents. In h i s d e s c r i p t i o n of Peter and Peter's a b i l i t y to r e t a i n his i n t e g r i t y , Malashkin i s c a r e f u l to point out that Peter did not have the same obstacles to overcome as did the others. Since he was of true peasant stock, l i f e under the new regime was considerably e a s i e r . He was not burdened with the stigma of a "meshchanin" background. Unlike the c i t y Komsomol, he had not been uprooted from f a m i l i a r surroundings, hut was working on the land with the people he already knew. His foun-dations had not been destroyed so he s t i l l had a base from which to b u i l d . Malashkin*s descriptions of s e t t i n g are as c a r e f u l l y con-structed and graphic as h i s descriptions of character. In - 36 -them, he introduces o l e f a c t o r y as w e l l as v i s u a l s t i m u l i . Tanya, when she l e f t the v i l l a g e , was i n tune with nature; and the smell of spring i n the a i r s i g n i f i e d hope and promise to her. ... Pour years ago, l i k e today, there was a large moon i n the sky and the saccharine smell of night. Yes, that's true; there was, at that time, the sharp smell of l a t e flowers. Even i n Moscow when, ea r l y i n the morning, I got o f f the t r a i n and went out of the Kurski s t a t i o n into the square, there was t h i s smell and I remember i t as i f i t were now; i t s current inundated me i n spite of a dead, boney nag sprawled i n the square not f a r from the s t a t i o n . I passed by the horse calmly and i n passing, glanced into i t s dark grey, paralysed eyes which were r o l l e d out of o r b i t ; and i n them, as i n a mirror, saw myself and smiled to myself. Moscow, at that time, despite i t s being l a t e summer with c a r r i o n l y i n g everywhere, to me seemed to smell of spring and snow-drops. 54 Since Tanya was f i l l e d with b e a u t i f u l dreams f o r the future, she smelled only the spring and not the r o t t i n g f l e s h which was symbolic of much of the l i f e i n Moscow at that time. P i t t i n g the wholesome past o r a l l i f e against the decadence of the c i t y i s not an o r i g i n a l device. The "return to nature" theme was predominant throughout the whole Romantic period s t a r t i n g with Rousseau through Stendahl, Flaubert, Wordsworth, Whitman, Tolstoy, etc. A whole s e r i e s of Gogol's s t o r i e s show the adverse e f f e c t of the c i t y upon him. Under the Soviet system, "youth sp o i l e d by the c i t y " was I b i d . , p. 22. - 37 -more than just a l i t e r a r y theme, f o r i t had become a grim ac-t u a l i t y . I t was more pronounced than at any previous time because the government took promising young people from t h e i r homes i n the country and r e s e t t l e d them i n the c i t y to work and to go to school i n the Rabochiy f a k u l ' t e t or Rabfak. In the c i t y e s p e c i a l l y , the speed with which the changes took place during the post-revolutionary period forced a rapid i n -t e l l e c t u a l growth upon them, leaving t h e i r s o c i a l development lagging sadly. Through propaganda, the State attempted to coerce the youth into abandoning the morals of t h e i r f o r e -f a t h e r s . According to Communist doctrine, f a m i l i a l values were untenable because they were based on a f a l s e premise and so had to he replaced by c o l l e c t i v e morals. While " c o l l e c t i v e consciousness", i n which they were w e l l indoctrinated, proved e f f e c t i v e i n work s i t u a t i o n s , i t was not vi a b l e i n the organ-i z a t i o n of private l i v e s . In an attempt to speed up t h e i r retarded s o c i a l development and f i l l the vacuum between i t and t h e i r s ophisticated, i n t e l l e c t u a l achievement, the youth ex-perimented with sex, drugs, and other types of debauchery hop-ing to f i n d emotional f u l f i l l m e n t . Their ignominy brought the wrath of the Party down upon them, although the State was l a r g e l y responsible f o r t h e i r having succumbed to a l l the ne-fa r i o u s influences of the c i t y . Although the Komsomol was the o f f i c i a l organization of Communist youth, an antagonism arose between i t and the Party. It i s t h i s r i f t that i s courageously exposed by Malashkin. - 38 -Prom a l i t e r a r y standpoint, "Lima s pravoy storony" i s further enriched hy Malashkin's use of figurative language and symbols, an example of which has been cited above (#54). The moon or "luna" i s the main symbol i n the story. When a f u l l moon was shining from the right-hand side, i t was thought to be an indication of good luck, and Tanya referred to i t f r e -quently. Shortly after the Bolshevik takeover of her village, Tanya went out into the garden, saw the moon from the right-hand side and compared i t to an apple from the orchard which was then heavily laden with f r u i t . ... the days are golden; there are many, many apples i n the orchard, so many, i n fact, that i t ' s beyond one's imagination. What delicious Antonovka apples: crisp, juicy, and yellow! At night, there i s always a moon and always, just as you step outside, on the right. It i s large and yellow, and mainly i t resembles a ripe, juicy Antonovka, so that I feel l i k e greedily swallowing i t — g u l p , and i t ' s a l l gone.55 The simile which Malashkin presents above i s a multiple image: the moon and apple, the moon and l i f e , and the apple and l i f e . The Antonovka, the best apple produced i n the Soviet Union, i s beautiful i n colour, smell, and quality. It i s symbolic of fif t e e n year old Tanya's l i f e i n the village where she was working with the peasants and tasting the f i r s t f r u i t s of success. She was eager and hungry for what l i f e had to offer. Just as she would have liked to swallow up the apple-like moon 5 5 I b i d . , p. 18. - 39 -i n one gulp, so she wanted to encompass l i f e t o t a l l y i n one bite.,,, .not just to savour i t slowly. To give a more s u b s t a n t i a l p o r t r a y a l of h i s characters, Malashkin includes some of the s u p e r s t i t i o n s held by the v i l l a g e r s . One of those, as previously mentioned, was seeing the moon from the right-hand side. Another was that of view-ing' t e r r i b l e dreams as omens of a d i s a s t e r . Tanya's father,, who i s never r e f e r r e d to by anything other than t h i s appella-t i o n , slept unusually l a t e one morning and could not eat h i s breakfast because he had had a f r i g h t e n i n g dream. Instead of opening h i s shop as he had always done, he prayed f o r a long time before going to the store. The prayers apparently were not answered, f o r the proclamation about the c o n f i s c a t i o n of property had been.posted on h i s shop before h i s l a t e a r r i v a l . The shock was so great that he had a stroke and f e l l to the ground. A l l h i s land holdings except f o r that property around his house were taken from him s h o r t l y thereafter; and he was also assessed f o r a large amount of money. B e l i e f s i n omens such as the ones above show that, a l -though the structure of government and of the country had changed d r a s t i c a l l y , r u r a l l i f e was s t i l l bound by old t r a d i -t i o n . The Domostroy custom was s t i l l i n e f f e c t and households were p a t r i a r c h a l despite the equality that had been achieved by women. The male heads of household ruled with an i r o n hand as Tanya rudely discovered. She was disowned by her previously - 40 -d o t i n g f a t h e r and ordered from the house when he di s c o v e r e d t h a t she, a merchant's daughter, was working i n league w i t h the peasants. L i k e Kozakov, Malashkin a l s o c r i t i c i z e s the i n j u s t i c e s and the f a l s e assumptions p r e v a l e n t d u r i n g the r e c o n s t r u c t i o n p e r i o d . When the peasants f i r s t s t a r t e d t a k i n g over the v i l l a g e s , they had no mercy f o r the merchants who had been f l e e c i n g them over the ye a r s . When Tanya's f a t h e r r e f u s e d to pay h i s c o n t r i b u t i o n to the P a r t y , he was detained i n a dark room f o r f o u r days and f e d s a l t h e r r i n g . He was r e l e a s e d o n l y when he convinced h i s captors t h a t h i s son Kol y a was at the f r o n t f i g h t i n g the war. When there was a "kulak" u p r i s i n g i n one of the v i l l a g e s , they shot s e v e r a l Communists and nine Komsomol members. I n r e p r i s a l , e i g h t y " k u l a k s , " ten p r i e s t s , and one landowner were executed by the Communists. That o p p o r t u n i s t i c elements were a l r e a d y s t a r t i n g to ap-pear i s evident from the humourous anecdote r e l a t e d by Tanya's godfather. A f t e r r e g a i n i n g h i s c o n f i s c a t e d goods from an unscrupulous o f f i c i a l , Stepan r e t a i n e d them through b r i b e r y . In the s p r i n g , when the o f f i c i a l had de r i v e d s u f f i c i e n t per-s o n a l b e n e f i t from Stepan's " g i f t s , " he took p o s s e s s i o n of what was l e f t of these goods f o r the whole community. Another i n d i c a t i o n t h a t Communist o f f i c i a l s were t a k i n g advantage of t h e i r p o s i t i o n s appears i n a scene t h a t Tanya witnessed from her window i n Moscow. At the time when f a b r i c and c l o t h i n g - 41 -were scarce, the wife of a Communist i n the building across the square spent about two hours trying on eleven different dresses. The use of anecdotes such as the one related by Stepan was fashionable i n literature at that time, particularly among writers of Malashkin's coterie. The employment of this device was part of an attempt to bring literature closer to the work-ing people by using their idiom. Mayakovskiy made similar use of the plebian joke incorporating i t in his poetry and trying to make i t s use acceptable i n litera t u r e . One of the worst injustices perpetuated by the Soviet regime was that of attaching a stigma to cultural background. In pre-Soviet times, prejudice due to occupation was wide-spread. Tanya's father was, himself, the victim of this prac-t i c e . As a young man, he was intelligent and handsome. How-ever, because he came from a poor family and was a herdsman, the lowliest position in the village, he was the butt of many cruel jokes. After the revolution, propaganda inverted the social pyramid. If a person's parentage was that of a poor peasant or a factory worker, he was considered an exemplary person, no matter how undesirable he himself might be. If he came from a family of what was previously considered higher social standing or wealth, everything he did was questioned. To aggravate the situation, those who were of "meshchanin" origin were not encouraged to integrate with the workers, but were isolated in groups and often ostracized. - 42 -Another error i n judgment made hy the Communist leaders was that of considering Komsomol members as adults. Although they were highly organized into an e f f e c t i v e work force, they were a c t u a l l y c h i l d r e n . The r e s p o n s i b i l i t y placed upon the shoulders of these young people aged them more r a p i d l y ^ — Tanya looked eighteen when she was f i f t e e n . Their minds were not yet mature and they sometimes behaved l i k e c h i l d r e n as evidenced i n the following i n c i d e n t : You w e l l know that they can't pro-vide cotton f o r the v i l l a g e , and the men of our v i l l a g e decided to organize t h e i r own t e x t i l e f a c t o r y , and did. They passed a r e s o l u t i o n which gave each woman and g i r l a s p e c i f i c allotment of f l a x that had been taken from the landowners, Chiraev and Pisarev. The women spun t h i s f l a x a l l winter and f i n i s h e d only at the time of the great f a s t ; they washed i t and hung the skeins i n the f r o s t . During the night, the young people took these skeins and en-tangled the whole v i l l a g e to such an extent that i t was impossible to pass through i t without becoming snarled i n thread.57 The Party again f a i l e d to take into account the immatur-i t y of the young people when i t sent them to school i n the c i t y . Hundreds of youngsters were plucked from t h e i r r u r a l environment and l e f t alone i n a strange c i t y . They had had no experience i n coping with an urban way of l i f e and many of them, through lack of knowledge and guidance, soon f e l l prey ^ The premature aging of the post-revolutionary youth i s also stressed by Kozakov i n "Meshchanin Adameyko" as discussed i n the previous chapter. 57 S. Malashkin, op. c i t . - 43 -to e v i l influences. This i s exactly what happened to Tanya. Tanya, although she was only fi f t e e n when she l e f t the village, fared quite well in the city u n t i l the Raykom trans-ferred her to a new position. A high-ranking o f f i c i a l had decided to separate the children of the petty bourgeois from their parents. Since Tanya came from a merchant family, she, too, was included in the organizational c e l l allotted to these youngsters. Tanya, along with many others, suffered consider-able hardship because of the prejudices held against that 58 particular segment of the population. The conversation be-tween the author and Tanya's brother shows how widespread and unjust this prejudice was. When Kolya made disparaging remarks The segregation of the "meshchanin" youth eliminated any p o s s i b i l i t y of their ever becoming good Communist workers and made them the scapegoat of the rest of the populace. The psychological repercussions of such a division has been f r e -quently shown i n experiments. One such experiment was per-formed with a primary school class i n California. The c h i l -dren were divided into groups according to eye colour. One day, the brown-eyed children were told they were inf e r i o r , the next day, the blue-eyed children were told they belonged to the i n f e r i o r category. On the day they believed themselves to be inf e r i o r , the performance of the children i n academic matters dropped sharply, while that of the superior group rose. During playtime, those who were purportedly i n f e r i o r stood on the sidelines making l i t t l e or no attempt to join in the games. When a few did try to participate, they were harshly rejected and sometimes physically abused. In general, their social maturity was substantially reduced and they be-came either withdrawn or belligerent. When, on the following day, the alternate group was informed that i t was i n f e r i o r , there was a complete reversal i n positions. This experiment, though conducted long after the NEP period, shows that the Party, by i t s own actions, had created a problem that would grow in magnitude u n t i l i t prompted such drastic actions as the shooting already cited. - 44 -about the "meshchanin" class blaming them f o r h i s s i s t e r ' s downfall, the author i n t e r j e c t e d sharply: But your s i s t e r i s not from a working family ... that didn't i n t e r f e r e , as you say, with her steadfastness.59 Not a new phenomenon, making a scapegoat of a p a r t i c u l a r occupation or c l a s s had been prevalent long before the revolu-t i o n . There had merely been an i n v e r s i o n of the s o c i a l order. Just as Tanya's father had been ostracized by the other v i l l a g e r s f o r being a herdsman, therefore of the lowest stratum, Tanya was discriminated against by the peasant c l a s s f o r having come from a merchant family. While Tanya's father reacted to t h i s persecution by becoming c r u e l and r e t a l i a t i v e , seeking only to increase h i s own wealth and status, Tanya succumbed to outside pressures and f e l l i nto moral d i s s i p a t i o n , l o s i n g her r e v o l u -tionary zeal and a l l f a i t h i n h e r s e l f . A f t e r the r e v o l u t i o n , many of those who had been unearthed from the bottom of the s o c i a l heap compensated f o r t h e i r pre-vious s u f f e r i n g through ruthless e x p l o i t a t i o n of others. In-volvement with one of these people was Tanya's f i r s t step t o -wards her degeneration. ... At t h i s time, many young men were court-ing and when I didn't reciprocate t h e i r a t -tention, they started c a l l i n g me a petty bourgeois p u b l i c l y . Later, one very promin-ent worker of the Komsomol attached himself to me—you mustn't think I loved him—and I got together with him ... Later, he dropped me and I peacefully l e f t him.°° ^Malashkin, op. c i t . , p. 21. 6 0 I b i d . , p. 49. - 45 -This was the f i r s t of a series of sexual liaisons between Tanya and various Komsomol members. As Tanya lay on her bed and watched a voyeuristic pair across the square making love in front of a mi r r o r — a scene which she called a "pastoral of 61 the s o c i a l i s t i c era" —she thought of her own sex l i f e : the twenty-two men to whom she had been mistress and the six men with whom she had had sexual intercourse i n one night. She 6 2 f e l t that " l i f e had roared past her and disappeared." She had reached a manic-depressive syndrome of psychological im-balance. During a withdrawal period such as the one mentioned above, she did not have the strength to do anything but "wal-63 low in the f i l t h y mud." In an instant, because she saw the moon from the right-hand side, she flew into wild elation and danced around her room, screaming and laughing, begging her friends to hurry and bring the "hashish," then f a l l i n g asleep on her hands and knees i n the middle of the room. The con-trast between the spoiled Tanya and the exuberant g i r l who was shouting with joy at the thought of going to Moscow i s so acute that both images are i n f i n i t e l y magnified. Tanya's marriage to Peter stabilized her outward l i f e hut sent her into a deep depression. Although Peter was not repulsed by her previous a c t i v i t i e s , which she had related i n 6 1 I h i d . , p. 23. 6 2 I b i d . , pp. 22-3. 6 5 I b i d . , p. 23. - 46 -details, Tanya f e l t she was cheating him and their marriage hy being unable to respond to him sexually. ... I suffered because I loved him to dis-traction, because he also loved me deeply, and because, i n spite of our reciprocal love, I didn't feel his caresses, his ar-dent inspiring touch from which the body opens and f i l l s with l i f e , millions of live s ... 64 The vacuum that existed i n Tanya's l i f e made her feel that she.had burnt herself out. This feeling coupled with her love and high regard for Peter made her feel unworthy and led 65 to her ultimate suicide: She gave Peter a l l she had to give—her l i f e — s o that he could be free to l i v e f u l l y with a more deserving person. The same frustrations that a f f l i c t e d Tanya also beset the other members of her group. As has since been shown i n psycho-logical experiments (see footnote #58) when particular groups of people are the butt of discrimination and j u s t i f i a b l y or unjustifiably made to feel i n f e r i o r , the rate of achievement drops and they l i v e up to the expectations others have of them. Thus, these youngsters were unable to attain personal satisfaction from their a c t i v i t i e s and were constantly look-ing for new "kicks" mainly as a means of escape, but also with Ibid., p. 50. 65 Although Malashkin says, i n the last chapter, that Tanya did not commit suicide but went into the north to work, this conclusion i s not convincing. It appears that Malashkin actually intended the story to end with Tanya's death, but due to external pressures appended an additional weak conclu-sion i n order to appease the censors. - 47 -a f a i n t hope that t h i s one was perhaps the r i g h t path to the r e s t o r a t i o n of self-esteem. Because the r e v o l u t i o n had negated the moral values of the old system without providing anything new i n i t s stead, they experimented with a l c o h o l , drugs, sex, or whatever perversion or debauchery that presented i t s e l f . They could not morally condone t h e i r own a c t i v i t i e s but used t h e i r i n t e l l e c t to r a t i o n a l i z e t h e i r actions. This i s evident i n Isayka's speech j u s t i f y i n g free love and c r i t i c i z i n g the conventional maxim of "love u n t i l death." In Tanya's case, Peter's love was s u f f i c i e n t to draw her away from r a t i o n a l i z a -tions and look at h e r s e l f c l e a r l y . Once she had seen h e r s e l f r e a l i s t i c a l l y , she knew she could not l i v e with what she had become. This makes her suicide i n e v i t a b l e and fu r t h e r shows the i m p l a u s i b i l i t y of the ending. I t i s evident that the excessive drinking, sex orgies and experimenting with hashish did not provide the youth with the f u l f i l l m e n t they were seeking. Their mode of l i f e only served to i n t e n s i f y t h e i r f e e l i n g s of g u i l t , uselessness, and despair and often l e d them to s u i c i d e . These f r u s t r a t i o n s were not l i m i t e d to just one segment of the socie t y . As pre-vi o u s l y discussed, Kozakov points out t h e i r presence i n people who were non-members of the Communist Party; Malashkin deals with them i n regard to the young Komsomol group; and Grahar', the next author to be discussed, shows that they also affected well-established members of the Communist Party. CHAPTER III Grabar' i s the one author of the four being considered on whom there i s no biographical material in either the Literaturnaya entsiklopedia or i n Russkiye sovetskiye p i s a t e l i  prozaiki. However, i t i s known that he was a member of the Communist Party. His concern with the direction the recon-struction was taking i s evident in an "author's digression" from the novel Sel'vinity by Grabar'. The public has viewed my work as de-liberate slander rather than an attempt at cleaning up; l i t e r a r y c r i t i c s have accused me of depicting our society as a collection of left-overs and misfits. I protested angrily, astonished at people's lack of perspicacity and insisted on my right to sweep the d i r t out of the house. There was a time when people v a c i l -lated, took to drinking, erred, went astray, degenerated. I have known that time. 5 6 As an a r t i s t , Grabar' fa i l e d to achieve any great heights of l i t e r a r y style. He was, nevertheless, a keen observer of the l i f e of his period and reported what he saw with precision and accuracy. He understood people and the reasons for their behaviour. Also, he was aware of the compromises they had to make in order to survive against the external pressures of the Soviet system. In his description of people, Grabar' presents "types" rather than r e a l i s t i c personages. An excellent example of Leonid Grabar', Sel'vinity (Moscow and Leningrad: Gosizdat. Khudozhestvennoy Literature, 1 9 3 3 ) , pp. 3 6 - 7 . - 48 -- 49 -this i s Egorushka i n the tale "Na kirpichakh" who i s the epitome of the "young i d e a l i s t . " A l l the people i n "Na kirpichakh" are, in fact, "type" c h a r a c t e r s — " o f f i c i a l s , " "fence-sitters," and "workers." Through this l i t e r a r y device, Grabar* effectively shows that his main theme, the conflict between o f f i c i a l s and workers, was not confined to one plant but was prevalent wherever industrial enterprises existed i n the Soviet Union. This kind of expose roused the ire of those i n government and resulted in Grabar's ultimate dis-appearance from the l i t e r a r y scene. The language i n Grabar's stories i s for the most part colloquial. Even in his descriptive passages, the narrator uses such expressions as "svoy chelovek" and "samim-to" i n referring to Arshok Semenov i n "Na kirpichakh" and countless diminutives such as "chastenko" and "shchuplenkiy" throughout the story. Kozakov and Malashkin both use the vernacular for the direct speech of the characters, but Grabar' includes i t i n the narrative as well. As previously stated, this use of colloquial language i n literature was i n keeping with the style of the times. It was an attempt to close the gap be-tween l i t e r a r y language and common idiom, and thus bring literature closer to the people. Like Kozakov, Grabar' brings out the disparity in l i v i n g conditions between o f f i c i a l s and workers. In "Na kirpichakh," ^Leonid Grabar', "Na kirpichakh," Lyudi-cheloveki (Leningrad: Priboy, 1927), p. 147. - 5 0 -the workers at the brickyard l i v e d e i t h e r i n barracks with i n s u f f i c i e n t l i g h t i n g or i n stucco huts, most of which had no e l e c t r i c i t y at a l l . The d i r e c t o r , on the other hand, was ex-tremely w e l l situated, e s p e c i a l l y since h i s marriage. I t was possible to t a l k with "him-s e l f " before. He even v i s i t e d the barracks often... Now, i t i s n ' t so. Now Valentina Semenovna f o u l s things up: there are rugs; she brought a piano i n ; the f u r n i t u r e i s gg as i t should he; the bedroom i s of redwood. In "Lakhudrin pereulok," Fedotov, a s e l f - s t y l e d entrepreneur being status-conscious, bought a grand piano although he could not play. On the other hand, Ivanov, an o f f i c e worker who knew how to play the piano, could not a f f o r d to buy Fedotov's old d i l a p i d a t e d one because i t would have required a f u l l three months' salary. Again, as i n Kozakov 1s "Meshchanin Adameyko," the people seemed to be using material possessions to c o n s o l i -date t h e i r p o s i t i o n s and b u i l d a barricade against a possible l o s s of status. Grabar' also c r i t i c i z e s the "red tape" involved i n get t i n g anything done. When Egorushka wanted to have safety measures i n s t i t u t e d i n the brickyard and a supply of rubber boots or-dered f o r the workers, he had to submit a p e t i t i o n to the secretary who i n turn passed i t to the accountant before the d i r e c t o r would consider looking at i t . Volosov made an apt comment on i t i n "Lakhudrin pereulok." - 51 -.... What a f o u l time t h i s i s — t h e y are a l l wrapped i n papers and walk on the estimate as on the floor.69 The government's stress on a good production record f o r f a c t o r i e s created a l o t of hardship f o r the workers. At the bric k works, men were standing knee-deep i n water without rubber boots. Because of the wet working conditions i n part of the factory and the excessive dust i n other parts, many of the men had i n f e c t e d lungs. When Egorushka gave~them per-mits to stay at home, he learned that Semenov had given the following i n s t r u c t i o n s . Regardless of the state of health of the worker, he was ordered not to give /a worker/ more than f o r t y - e i g h t hours o f f work", nor free more than f i f t e e n workers i n one d a y . 7 0 Anything beyond t h i s would look bad on the production record. Another p r a c t i c e of the Communist Party was that of put-t i n g men i n high government positions because they were good tradesmen or had served well during the war. A desperate need f o r leaders, as Volosov said i n "Lakhudrin pereulok," prompted t h i s measure. "The whole of the p r o l e t a r i a t was i n the army," he said, " i n the front p o s i t i o n s . Some were k i l l e d ; some became commissars. Where would you get q u a l i f i c a t i o n s at t h i s time? ..." 7 1 69 Leonid Grabar', "Lakhudrin pereulok," Zhuravli i_ kartech' (Moscow: Gosizdat., 1928), p. 154. 7 0 I b i d . , p. 148. 7 1 I b i d . , p. 1 7 1 . Most of these men were not suited for these responsibilities. When Ilyushin was unexpectedly made commissar of the people's 72 education, he f e l t l i k e a "perch i n a frying pan." Dr. L. 73 Peter i n The Peter Principle, a contemporary study dealing with the psychology.of promotions, puts forward the theory that a man advances u n t i l he reaches his level of incompetence. The situation i n post-revolutionary Russia seems to exemplify this hypothesis. Many of the o f f i c i a l s i n the Soviet system found themselves i n this position and thus, further compli-cated an already unwieldy bureaucracy. Grabar 1 points out that another principle propounded by the government, the g l o r i f i c a t i o n of the proletariat, was er-roneous. The government was hypocritical i n i t s proclamations that a l l was being given to the proletariat, for i n them lay the truth of the nation. Conditions at the brick works showed exactly how much was being done for the workers and peasants and how much was being used to line the o f f i c i a l s ' nests. Neither were the proletariat untarnished p i l l a r s of purity that had sprung from the goodness of nature. Although there were many peasants of high character, Grabar' presents two prime examples of the lowest form of peasant in "Lakhudrin pereulok." These two men, drunk on homemade liquor, broke into the shed where school was taught 72 Grabar', "Lakhudrin pereulok," p. 148. 73 "Lawrence J. Peter and Raymond Hull, The Peter Principle (New York: W. Morrow, 1969). - 53 -and sexually assaulted the young teacher Marya. because she associated with the Komsomol members who were t r y i n g to stop t h e i r l i q u o r operations. In h i s denouncement of the premature aging p r e c i p i t a t e d by the Soviet system, Grabar' echoes Kozakov and Malashkin. To i l l u s t r a t e t h i s , he presents a scene of gypsy c h i l d r e n en-t e r t a i n i n g i n the square f o r pennies. Among the casual spec-tators was a young "pioneer" about ten years o l d . He asked no one i n p a r t i c u l a r , "And why shouldn't they be e n l i s t e d i n the pioneer movement?", shook h i s head "with the s e r i o u s -ness of an adult," and l e f t with the walk of a hurried, • A 74 occupied man. Because the Soviet system invested too much power i n i n d i v i d u a l s , t h i s allowed a great deal of scope f o r corrupt p r a c t i c e s . Bribery governed the actions of many o f f i c i a l s . A conversation between two doctors i n "Na kirpichakh" brings out t h i s e v i l . "... I pushed the envelope towards him, a l l the while thinking, 'Can i t r e a l l y be that we are a l l such i d i o t s ? W i l l someone not be found who w i l l make a report to the proper place?'" "Well, what happened? Did he take i t ? " "He c e r t a i n l y did. 'Good,' he sai d . 'It i s possible that we w i l l d i r e c t you to the c e n t r a l h o s p i t a l as an i n t e r n . ' " "When was that?" 74 Grabar', "Lakhudrin pereulok," pp. 225-6 . - 54 -"When? A month ago; about two days before he was arrested." "Well now that bazaar i s over. It seems to be s i t t i n g securely."75 Although the doctor did not approve of bribery, he did not have the strength and courage to report the o f f i c i a l to the proper authorities, thereby submitting to the practice. That the culprit was arrested shortly afterwards was a credit to those workers who were truly trying to create a better l i f e for the whole country. The second doctor's remark about the whole business seeming to be on a firm foundation was merely wishful thinking. Grabar'.gives many examples of o f f i c i a l s taking advan-tage of their positions to amass small fortunes for themselves. Semenov in "Na kirpichakh" expended a great deal of energy and a large proportion of the community's allotment to have e l e c t r i c i t y installed. Ironically, the community except for a few upper echelon employees and Semenov himself could not afford to pay for the hydro rates imposed by Semenov, and thereby derived no benefit from the in s t a l l a t i o n . In "Lakhudrin pereulok," men like Pedotov, Sanich, and Ambestor lived i n luxury because they stole material from the govern-ment and sold i t privately. In addition, they were i n d i s c r i -minate i n their choice of buyers. By selling the lead bullets which they had purportedly bought for scrap to the counter-7^Grabar', "Na kirpichakh," p. 142. - 55 -r e v o l u t i o n a r i e s , they were i n d i r e c t l y committing treason against the government. Matveyev was p r o f i t i n g because h i s factory workers were exempt from the d r a f t ; they were i n v o l -ved i n the defence e f f o r t — m a k i n g gas-masks and gramophones. Grabar' shows that there was something b a s i c a l l y wrong with the system because i t defeated honest people while i t allowed the unscrupulous ones to f l o u r i s h . Men l i k e Egorushka were thwarted i n t h e i r every move while others l i k e Egorushka's classmate Bakhrushin, who set up a c l i n i c e x c l u s i v e l y f o r the treatment of VD and f o r abortions, prospered. Volosov went to j a i l while Pedotov, Sanich, and Ambestor continued p r o f i -t e e r i n g . Grabar* does not delve deeply in t o the psychological e f f e c t s of circumstances on the characters. Instead, he outl i n e s t h e i r actions, leaving the reader to i n f e r t h e i r psychological state, i n the two s t o r i e s "Na kirpichakh" and "Lakhudrin pereulok," Grabar' seems to have a more p o s i t i v e outlook than e i t h e r Kozakov or Malashkin. In Kozakov, the only character with any moral f i b r e , Adameyko, p r e c i p i t a t e d h i s own destruction; i n Malashkin, Tanya's soul was destroyed so she took her own l i f e , i n Grabar', although the negative characters were revealed, the a d v e r s i t i e s which beset them res u l t e d i n moral growth f o r two of the characters, Anya and Volosov. The young doctor Egorushka was not defeated by the bureaucracy e i t h e r . Despite having suffered severe setbacks, - 56 -he would continue trying to realize his ideals. The street, Lakhudrin pereulok, was repository for a number of the negative elements existing i n Soviet society. The name of the street i t s e l f indicates this, for "lakhudra" i s a colloquialism designating an unkempt or dilapidated person. Lakhudrin pereulok was rather run-down and narrow, terminating i n a cul-de-sac; and i t s residents, too, were shabby i n both person and s p i r i t : people whose live s could be considered v i r t u a l l y a dead end. A l l the residents on Lakhudrin pereulok were s t i l l l i v i n g under the i l l u s i o n of a past status and a l l i t s glories. They were quite misinformed and bigoted. An example of their way of thinking i s shown i n Madame ITarkisova's speech to Shura, who was playing a fox-trot on the piano. Ach, Shurochka, be more careful with fox-trots. They are banned. You know one of my friends i s s t i l l s i t t i n g /Th j a i l / for a fox-trot in Butyrki: They had gathered at some kind of meeting and had danced the fox-trot and sung "God Save the King." The windows, as in your house, were open.76 In presenting the above incident, Grabar' reveals the timely quality of his observations. The young people i n the Soviet Union were fascinated with the fox-trot and other wes-tern phenomena and wanted to incorporate them into their mode of l i f e . This "tyaga," the great wish of Russian youth to 7^Grabar', "Lakhudrin pereulok," p. 129. - 57 -adopt a western s t y l e . o f l i v i n g , i s s t i l l a problem i n the Soviet Union today. The Khvostov family, which was t y p i c a l of the people dwelling on t h i s 'winding' lane, were s t i l l strongly steeped i n t h e i r old t r a d i t i o n s . Most of t h e i r actions were governed by money. Their daughter Anya was l i v i n g common law with a 77 member of the Communist Party, a C h r i s t i a n Jew, whom the Khvostovs detested because of h i s Jewish o r i g i n . When Ivanov won a l o t of money through gambling, they quickly changed t h e i r a t t i t u d e towards him and offered him t h e i r s o - c a l l e d "respect and f r i e n d s h i p . " When he l o s t the money and ran away, they robbed t h e i r penniless young daughter of her best f u r n i t u r e on the pretext that the government would take i t away to help repay Ivanov's debt. They also regarded the laundress Annusha as i n f e r i o r because of her lowly occupation. Annusha, however, was the only person who showed true moral f i b r e by coming to Anya's assistance when help was needed. As well as befriending Anya and her c h i l d and aiding her f i n a n c i a l l y , she even shared her laundry, customers with her. Anya's family was disgusted with Anya f o r taking on such work because they f e l t i t was de-grading. To them, applying f o r state welfare would have been preferable. 77 ivanov's father, an opera singer of Jewish o r i g i n , had nominally embraced C h r i s t i a n i t y i n order to sing i n the Imperial Theatre where t h i s was a c r i t e r i o n . - 58 -Anya was one of the characters who experienced moral regeneration through a kind of t r i a l hy f i r e . At the begin-ning of the story, she was shown as an educated, well-mannered g i r l , but somewhat useless. Even though she had no outside employment, she was a f a i l u r e as a housekeeper and a mother. Her only redeeming f a c t o r was that she loved Ivanov. By the end of the story, because of the hardships that were thrust upon her andbecause of Annusha's help, she had become quite competent and s e l f - s u f f i c i e n t . The reader i s l e f t with the f e e l i n g that, unlike the rest of her family which was governed by f a l s e p r i o r i t i e s , she would grow to be a c r e d i t to the society. Volosov was another symbol of the attainment of moral growth through overcoming t r i a l s and misfortunes. An extremely q u a l i f i e d machinist and tinsmith, Volosov joined the Matveyev factory to avoid being drafted. He appeared rather spineless, f o r when the chicanery at the factory was discovered and he was conscripted i n t o the army, he swallowed poison and had to be sent back to recuperate. In volosov, Grabar' depicts the s k i l l e d tradesman who was snatched from h i s element and placed i n the unhappy p o s i t i o n of authority beyond h i s c a p a b i l i t y . He did h i s best, but h i s one t r a n s g r e s s i o n — s e l l i n g o f f some lead b u l l e t s to pay f o r the r e s t o r a t i o n of a b u i l d i n g to house a club f o r the v i l l a g e r s — w a s a step i n t o quagmire. He could not stop himself from f a l l i n g into deeper degradation. Just - 59 -before his impending arrest, he gave himself up and spent a 78 year i n j a i l . The man who emerged from prison and went hack to a tradesman's job i n a factory, had inner security. That he had found his position i n l i f e was evident in his conversation with San Sanich. "You, Sergey Avdiech, must certainly try to become a "zavkom" /Factory direc-tor/," Volosov grinned. "Somehow, i t doesn't appeal to me, San Sanich. It's better for me this way ..."79 While Volosov had learned to avoid those p i t f a l l s which had led him to his downfall, Ivanov had not. Ivanov p r o s t i -tuted himself when he accepted the piano from Pedotov. The resulting loss of his own self-respect led him to try foolish ways of regaining i t . He began gambling and his-phenomenal streak of luck tossed him into the lap of luxury. Unfortun-ately, his luck was short-lived. While trying to extricate 78 It i s interesting to note that while i n prison, Volosov kept singing an old Russian song but with altered l y r i c s . Volosov's version of the song i s Zhyla byla Racceya Velikaya gerzhava Vragi ee terzyali Naleve i napryave... Once upon a time This great power, Russia Was preyed upon by her foes Prom the l e f t and the right. The better known version of this song as related by a former cit i z e n of the Soviet Union i s Zhyla byla Rocciya Once upon a time Moguchaya derzhava This mighty power, Russia Vragi ee boyalis Was feared by her foes Byla i chest' i slava.. And enjoyed honour and glory.. 79 Grabar', "Lakhudrin pereulok," p. 266. - 60 -himself from a state of serious debt, he gambled away a large sum of money belonging to the chemical trust. The gambling disease had such a firm grip on him that before he was caught and imprisoned, he had squandered the money borrowed on his mother's typewriter, her only source of income. Prison f a i l e d to reform him, for after his release, he was again forced i n -to the same conditions which had originally led to his down-f a l l . The despicable theft which he committed aroused such a feeling of self-contempt within him that he took his own l i f e . Egorushka i n "Na kirpichakh" was an i d e a l i s t . He was so tota l l y dedicated to the medical profession that he was o b l i -vious to a l l personal discomforts. Egorushka was a Communist in the true sense of the word while the c a p i t a l i s t i c a l l y -oriented administrators were only masquerading. He refused to give up his struggle to improve conditions for the workers, saying: ... we l i v e , tovarishch Sinitsyn, i n a Soviet land. It wouldn't hurt to think about the health of the worker.80 This attitude of Egor's caused a considerable amount of con-sternation among the administrators. Despite their persis-tence, their efforts to hasten Egorushka's voluntary resigna-tion were not successful. The director, determined to remove the thorn i n his side, issued a memorandum after a l l other ploys had fa i l e d . 8 0Grabar', "Na kirpichakh," p. 160. - 61 -Because of the curtailing of produc-tion i n the hrick factory, the position of junior doctor at "Kamenka" i s being abol-ished. 8 1 Egor, having at least implemented the changes he was seeking, l e f t the factory resigned, but not disillusioned. There was some hope suggested i n the closing of the story—Egor's mother would not get her f e l t boots that year. Although Egorushka's s p i r i t had not yet been crushed, i t appears that i t would be only a matter of time before he became as passive as the old doctor. Kozakov, Malashkin and Grabar' a l l focus the reader's attention on similar deficiencies i n the system during the STEP period. In addition to touching on some of these short-comings, Nikiforov, a contemporary of the aforementioned authors, investigates the effects of these inadequacies on the relationships between people. Ibid., p. 166. It should be pointed out here that Zavalishin has erred i n content. "Finally, Yegor has to leave the factory at his own wish, and with the Administration's consent." (op. c i t . , Zavalishin, p. 323.) ~~ He interprets Egor's conditions as being "disillusioned, penniless, and hopeless." Although penniless, Egor does not appear particularly disillusioned and certainly far from hopeless. CHAPTER IV Nikiforov was also involved i n the Communist Party from an early age and actively participated in i t s growth. He was one of the founding members of the l i t e r a r y group of prole-tarian writers called "Kuznitsa," previously discussed i n the introduction. At the time of their publication, Nikiforov's works were praised for their supposed portrayal of the conflict of the people with the undesirable elements of the Communist 82 system such as bureaucracy and career-ism. This interpre-tation saved Nikiforov's writings from the censorship to which he would ordinarily have been subjected. In the "vstuplenic" or the prologue of his novel U fonarya Nikiforov symbolically presents the whole theme of the novel. Our lantern i s the only one on the whole street. The street i s winding and long; sometimes i t seems endless ... It i s s t i l l autumn; the clouds become heavy and settle themselves on the ground. The lantern i s going blind; there i s no you guess that on the street, someone has lowered lustreless eyes. On the sides are unexpected hurdles, hostile jagged walls. Somewhere i n the borderless steppe, a whistle has become los t . There is' such a thick void a l l around and suddenly the cry of the midnight cock. You rejoice when you hear i t , — a n d you hear yourself, then your own breathing, your own trembling and longing, and your own strength ... It i s very cold on the road, cold and dank; the dampness gnaws your joints. You want to enter the warmth. Anyone wants Literaturnaya entsiklopedia, Tom VIII, op. c i t . , pp. 77-8 road nor and then - 63 -t h i s when there i s a small thought that one need only turn i n t o the f i r s t g a t e ; — behind the gate, there i s immediately a holiday of repose, a grand holiday of repose ... Beyond the gate, just a f t e r you step over the d o o r - s i l l , the ground i s strewn with sand, "glad golden," as i f gold-browhed by f i r e . In the sand i s the peaceful sun; the peaceful sun i s i n the sand ... No, i t i s s t i l l autumn; on the sides are the unexpected hurdles, the jagged h o s t i l e walls ... No! ... 83 It i s obvious that a poetic image such as the one above can be interpreted i n a number of d i f f e r e n t ways. Of course, the explanation of the Communist Party was geared to enhance i t s own p o s i t i o n . A book reviewer i n Rabochaya Gazeta (The Workers' Newspaper) presents a standard Soviet view of the ... i n the novel TJ f o nary a, a whole g a l l e r y of types of our epoch are gathered together against the background of construction and the works of a large plant with four thou-sand workers. The c e n t r a l theme of the n o v e l — t h e l a n t e r n — i s the Party. The Party i l l u m i n -ates and d i r e c t s our whole l i f e i n a l l i t s manifestations. I n d i v i d u a l characters, Party members or non-party members, onto whom the Party d i r e c t s i t s lantern, immediately receive a d i s t i n c t c l a s s physiognomy; everything that i s vague becomes c l a r i f i e d . Throughout the whole novel, a strong f a i t h i n the Party stands o u t — i n i t /The Party/ i s l a i d an i r o n - c l a d t r u t h which w i l l rielp i t to f u l f i l l i t s h i s t o r i c a l l y assigned purpose ... 84 Georgiy N i k i f o r o v , TJ fonarya (Moscow: Zemlya i f a b r i k a , novel. 1 9 2 9 ) , p. 7 p. 299. - 64 -N i k i f o r o v ' s i n t r o d u c t i o n can also be considered an anal-ogy to l i f e i n the U.S.S.R. during the l a t e twenties. It presents a p i c t u r e quite d i f f e r e n t from the one normally postulated hy the Soviets. The l a n t e r n can s t i l l , as above, be interpreted as the Party or even more broadly, as s o c i a l -ism. Although i t i s the sole hope of l i g h t on the t w i s t i n g , almost endless road t h a t . l i e s ahead f o r the people, i t does not cast any beams of l i g h t ; and man might well turn h i s d i s -i l l u s i o n e d eyes away from i t . Nothing but obstacles and emptiness are a l l around. The disembodied cry i n the night represents man's pleas f o r help. The cry of the midnight cock s i g n i f i e s something recognizable, something f a m i l i a r from the past through which the wanderer can again f i n d himself as a p e r s o n — a person with f l e s h and blood,'with hopes and dreams, a person with a soul. The autumn which symbolizes the f a i l u r e of l i f e to be reborn a f t e r the r e v o l u t i o n , s t i l l p r e v a i l s . . The s p i r i t u a l dankness permeates man to h i s very marrow; he seizes on the hope that the f i r s t escape w i l l lead to a g l o r i o u s new l i f e — a l i f e which w i l l not be a constant struggle, but w i l l be warm and peaceful. Man, however, must be r e a l i s t i c and admit that h i s escape i s hut a dream; and f o r some time t o come, he must continue to face what i s around him—the "autumn," the "unexpected hurdles," and the " h o s t i l e jagged w a l l s . " By using t h i s i n t e r p r e t a t i o n , Nikiforov*s prologue becomes an apt - 65 -summary of the conditions i n Soviet Russia as described hy the other authors dealt with i n this thesis. Nikiforov employs a number of l i t e r a r y devices in the presentation of his novels TJ fonarya and Zhenshchina. He observes the action through the eyes of several characters, uses flashbacks, l e t t e r s , and diaries—sometimes portraying only external actions; at other times, revealing emotions and thought processes. In many instances, Nikiforov sets up a quasi-scientific analysis of class physiognomy, then adds the human characteristics to make a fully-rounded personage. He v i v i f i e s these portraits by juxtaposing opposites: Ramzaev/ Chuvyakin; payka/sonchik. S t y l i s t i c a l l y , Nikiforov's language i s lucid, colourful, and almost l y r i c a l . The poetic quality of his writing i s apparent i n the prologue to TJ fonarya as well as throughout both the works. This characteristic of his prose i s shown i n Sonchik's unusual suicide note, i n which death i s regarded as a fusion of man with nature. Perhaps, I w i l l l i e as a gigantic grey rock on the shore of the sea, open to the waves and the sun. Centuries w i l l pass: thousands, millions of centuries! How many people w i l l I see and hear—with what love, what longing, what suffering? 8^ As previously stated, while eliminating many undesirable elements i n Russian society, the Revolution of 1 9 1 7 and the 85 Georgiy Nikiforov, Zhenshchina (Moscow: Moskovskoe tovarishchestvo pisatel'ey, 1 9 2 9 ) , P- 246. - 66 -years that immediately followed also destroyed a l l the foun-dations from which the society derived i t s structure. After having wiped the slate clean, i t f a i l e d to provide a satis-factory substitute from which man could start reconstructing a new l i f e . This l e f t the Russian people "borderless," or, so to speak, "freefloating"—with no morals to cling to, no peaceful havens of escape, and solely responsible for their own destiny with no one to blame for errors or omissions. They were not strong enough to carry this load. What Nikiforov says i n Zhenshchina about women could well be applied to the country as a whole. Our women ^ave/ like young grass. . It has just come out of the ground into the sun-shine and s t i l l doesn't know whether i t /The sun/ w i l l be compassionate towards i t or whetEer i t w i l l burn i t to the roots. It doesn't know what kind of winds w i l l tear i t from the ground, what kind of tem-pests w i l l wash i t , or what kind of dews w i l l drench i t . Woman makes thousands of mistakes because, as yet, there has been no school for her, one that would have evaluated woman as a person; and she has not actually cried out about h e r s e l f . 8 " The newly liberated Russian would make many mistakes before he found a path for himself. Physically, very l i t t l e had changed for the common people after the revolution. In Zhenshchina, Praskovya Ulyanova was s t i l l working as a domestic and s t i l l sighing over God's deny-ing her a husband although this was her dearest wish. Communism Ibid., p. 73. - 67 -had not even entered her sphere of thinking. Nor had Matronya Semenovna's lot improved. She had had great hopes for per-sonal freedom after the revolution; but she was s t i l l cooking, cleaning, looking after young children, and battling with a drunken husband. In TJ fonarya, Babka Stepaneda, too, was l i v -ing the same kind of l i f e she had always lived. Although Golandin talked about Communism freeing women from the k i t -chen, that i s exactly where his sister Katerina was. The ordinary workers had ceased to expect improvement. ... they had become accustomed to seeing everything i n i t s old place. And when we talked about building stone houses and convenient quarters and so forth, they smiled good-naturedly and winked cunningly at each other, shaking their heads.°Y They lived i n hovels which, according to Bryakin, should have been doused with kerosene and burned. Squalor s t i l l existed. The men s t i l l beat the women. Instead of bringing equality to the women, the revolution had just brought them additional work. Besides doing the housework and caring for the children, they were now working in factories also. A l l that the women longed for was rest, decent clothing, sufficient sustenance. ... There i s no horror about past events and no pleasure from the present state. There i s a wish to l i v e comfortably, dress well, and have a good sleep at the proper time. 8 8 th Ibid., p. 238. Ibid., p 5 239. - 68 -The d e s c r i p t i o n of Pokrovskiy's residence, i n complete con-t r a s t to the workers' rabbit warrens, emphasizes the d i s p a r i t y i n l i v i n g conditions. Pokrovskiy also had a chauffeured limou-sine at h i s disposal as did puamaev while the workers did not receive even the bare n e c e s s i t i e s . N i k i f o r o v r e i t e r a t e s the b e l i e f that too much stress was placed on the g l o r i f i c a t i o n of the p r o l e t a r i a t . The l a b e l l i n g of people as i n t e l l i g e n t s i a , p r o l e t a r i a t , Party member or non-member rather than judging each on h i s merit, produced a s i t u a t i o n through which the country l o s t the services of many extremely capable people, payka, because she was from an i n t e l l i g e n t s i a background, almost dropped from exhaustion due to excessive hard work i n order to surpass the other workers and prove h e r s e l f worthy. This exhaustion coupled with d i s -i l l u s i o n with her i d o l s r e s u l t e d i n such a state of mental turmoil that she made an abortive attempt on her own l i f e . In U fonarya, Ramzaev, who was doing s a t i s f a c t o r y work fo r the Party, developed severe g u i l t f e e l i n g s about h i s past due to the prevalent a t t i t u d e towards the i n t e l l i g e n t s i a . Of i n t e l l i g e n t s i a o r i g i n , he f e l t personally responsible f o r the sins committed by anyone formerly of t h i s c l a s s . He also f e l t inadequate f o r not being able to prevent the unsavoury develop-ments among the governing p r o l e t a r i a t . Chuvyakin, on the other hand, merely rested on h i s l a u r e l s and held an important p o s i t i o n due to Party membership rather than a b i l i t y . He was - 6 9 -extremely smug and s e l f - s a t i s f i e d . "I know what I know," his eyes seemed to fip say. "and the rest of you can go to h e l l . " y Nikiforov uses an analogy to draw attention to Chuvyakin's greed. In speaking of his eyes, Nikiforov says they were the eyes of a man who, having just con-sumed the f i r s t tasty dish, hangs his f i s t impatiently on the table waiting for the next.9° Bryakin (Zhenshchina) was a true proletarian and had been working for reconstruction since the beginning of the re-volution. Although he was a member of a professional union, he was asked to leave a meeting because he did not hold a "Party ticket." This was due to animosity between professional unions and the Party. Prior to the revolution, union member-ship had been the ultimate in achievement, for the unions were the most powerful force i n industry; but after the revolution, the Party dominated. The unions, made up of sk i l l e d labourers who considered their trade an art, were interested i n the wel-fare of the individual. Conversely, the Party disregarded the individual and placed a l l emphasis on what was good for the State. According to Nikiforov, one of the most glaring errors made by the Party was to demand that total effort be directed towards the reconstruction of a strong Communist State. As 8 % i k i f o r o v , JJ fonarya, p. 48. 9 0 I b i d . - 70 -Fayka said i n Zhenshchina when t r y i n g to i n t e r p r e t the works of K a r l Marx, That means that i n order to have industry f l o u r i s h i n our re p u b l i c , i t i s necessary to smother the s p i r i t of the masses and turn men int o appendages of machines.91 Fayka 1s father rejected t h i s explanation but i t seemed to be the a t t i t u d e held by the State. In t h e i r eagerness to b u i l d a progressive economy, the Party leaders f a i l e d to take human needs into- account. Few people were able to derive complete s a t i s f a c t i o n from t h e i r work without devoting some att e n t i o n to t h e i r personal l i v e s . Because human emotions and the s a t i s f y i n g of the need f o r love and a f f e c t i o n were contrary to, or at l e a s t not included i n , Party aims, those who were t r u l y working f o r the reconstruction of the nation were bur-dened with g u i l t f e e l i n g s . They could not repress t h e i r needs and, by g i v i n g i n to them, f e l t d i s l o y a l to the Party. I t i s c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of Ni k i f o r o v that he does not condemn Party aims but merely points out the flaws i n t h e i r i n t e r p r e t a t i o n and implementation. His main concern was f o r man's i n d i v i -d u a l i t y which was being inundated by machines and the masses. His characters who achieve some measure of success do so because of t h e i r humanistic q u a l i t i e s rather than t h e i r dedi-cation to Party l i n e . Character analysis i n Nikiforov*s w r i t i n g s hinges on the 91 N i k i f o r o v , Zhenshchina, p. 9. - 71 -premise that every man has a basic need f o r close human con-t a c t . Sima's mother (Zhenshchina), Matronya Semenovna, a very simple woman, recognized t h i s and despite Sima's urging, refused to leave her besotted husband. Although her r e l a -tionship with her husband consisted of constant b i c k e r i n g , she had become accustomed to i t ; and she f e l t i t was better than no involvement at a l l . For the Communist Party, the establishment of industry was of prime importance; and con-cern f o r i n d i v i d u a l s was secondary. This credo destroyed the natural r e l a t i o n s h i p between man and woman. For most of the characters, N i k i f o r o v develops a c l a s s psychology, yet s t i l l maintains i n d i v i d u a l i t y . A represen-t a t i v e of the i n t e l l i g e n t s i a , the group which was required to provide t e c h n i c a l advice f o r the re b u i l d i n g of the nation, i s Andrey Pokrovskiy, a q u a l i f i e d engineer. He was working f o r the Party but purely f o r personal gain. It seems that he considered himself the only person on earth and thought s o l e l y about what he could get out of l i f e . 9 2 A man with a s i m i l a r a t t i t u d e towards h i s work was Inyakin (Zhenshchina). Not only was he a p o l i t i c a l , he was also some-what amoral. 9 2 I b i d . , p. 16. He thought only of one thing: how he, Nikolai Inyakin, without risk and as cunningly as possible could establish himself i n l i f e ... inyakin wanted to be promoted, to get ahead; and i t was immaterial whom he served.93 In his private l i f e , Pokrovskiy i s the one exception i n both the stories who operates contrary to Nikiforov's premise. An emotional attachment was not necessary for him because he fed on self-love. His position as project engineer gave him ample opportunity to wield his authority over female technicians to satisfy a l l his sexual and ego-inflating needs. Sonchik was also a member of the former "upper class." She and Elena, her counterpart in U fonarya played games with men for whatever material benefits they could reap. Obviously, l i f e for her i s lik e a buffet: she picks out what she likes.94 Nikiforov does not condemn Sonchik, for she was true to her character and f u l f i l l e d her role i n society: She was decora-tive and made people happy. Under Communism, such a role was no longer adequate. The feeling of uselessness made her reach out for true love; but because she had merely used men rather than loved them, love was not to be found. Sensing total rejection, she f e l l into a decline which eventually resulted in her suicide. Elena, on the other hand, was the cause of Chuvyakin's Q3 Nikiforov, U fonarya, p. 234. 94 , Nikiforov, Zhenshchina, p. 46. - 73 -downfall. Chuvyakin i s the symbol of bureaucracy and the epitome of poshlost'. As i n the Garden of Eden, Elena l e d him to taste the forbidden f r u i t , a l a v i s h way of l i f e which, i n turn, l e d to h i s destruction, i n a sense, Elena served a useful purpose, f o r she was instrumental i n bringing about the downfall of those u n f i t to govern. The s k i l l e d craftsman i n Zhenshchina i s represented by Bryakin, while the woman i n a s i m i l a r r o l e i s Solomina. A l -though Bryakin did not hold a "Party t i c k e t , " both were good Communists and took pride i n doing t h e i r work w e l l . Out-wardly, neither of them showed any emotion. Admitting such a flaw would have been contradictory to the image established f o r Communists. However, they too had a yearning f o r a f f e c -t i o n , f e l l i n love with each other, and s e c r e t l y set up t h e i r family l i f e . Serdobova, a Communist o f f i c i a l also f e l t that she could not l e t personal f e e l i n g s i n t e r f e r e with her work for the Party. Her need f o r a mutually-fond r e l a t i o n s h i p was s a t i s f i e d through a part-time marriage: She and her husband l i v e d separately but met by p r i o r arrangement once or twice a week. In TJ fonarya, Kotel'nikov i s the devoted c r a f t s -man who drove the workers but also worked along with them. Like the characters i n Zhenshchina, he found that dedication to reconstruction and a s a t i s f a c t o r y personal l i f e were not compatible. The woman he loved l e f t him because of h i s con-stant preoccupation with work. - 74 -Sima, a representative of the new breed of Communist youth, f e l t that she had found the correct path in l i f e and rejected love completely. It was not u n t i l she developed a strong attachment for Pokrovskiy, who was merely using her, that she became aware of her urgent need for tenderness. This realization disrupted her l i f e completely and l e f t her directionless. The man-woman relationships which developed between the protagonists i n U fonarya and Zhenshchina, Ramzaev and Anna and Payka and Shavronov respectively, were similar to the awkward association between Tsepilov and his wife i n U fonarya. Ramzaev, a former member of the gentry who was l i v i n g under a disguise, had been working well for the Party for quite some time, not because he was dedicated to Party doc-trine, but because he was a humanist. It was not u n t i l he met Anna, the daughter of an ardent Communist, and herself a member of the Party, that he began to have gui l t feelings about his past. Party membership and Communist ideals ac-quired a new importance for him as a result of Anna's high regard for them. He f e l t that i f he were discovered, he would loose her admiration. Anna, herself, had accepted these tenets without c r i t i c a l l y questioning them. Only when she was asked to t e s t i f y against Ramzaev i n court did she realize the r i g i d -i t y of the doctrine; and she refused to incriminate him. Luckily, the judge, a woman, also believed i n a humanistic interpretation of Party rules. Thus, thanks to the court case, - 75 -the r e l a t i o n s h i p between Anna and Ramzaev, which up to t h i s time had consisted of lame conversations about Marxist i d e a l s , reached a happy r e s o l u t i o n . Payka and Shavronov found themselves i n a s i m i l a r pre-dicament. Shavronov, one of the most prominent people i n the work group, had devoted h i s whole l i f e to b u i l d i n g s o c i a l -ism. However, h i s new-found love f o r Payka threatened h i s once-unshakable b e l i e f that a l l h i s energies should be direc t e d towards reconstruction. As Bryakin phrased it.: Here l i v e s a man who can a c t u a l l y vault over mountains. He has jumped over both large and small ones without catching hi s f e e t . Suddenly, i n one moment, seem-i n g l y both bad and good, he t r i p s over a rut and stops. 95 When payka started to work f o r the Party, she too rejected love; therefore, she experienced great mental anguish because of her a t t r a c t i o n to Shavronov. Indeed, they were both a f r a i d of t h e i r passion. "Are you a f r a i d , N i k i t a , of my joy?" "Yes, I am. There i s a great t r u t h here. I f your joy captures me, i t w i l l be necessary f o r us to stop i n a cove and b u i l d our own l i f e . Don't you think so, pausta? The res t ^of the world/ would continue to flpw by, and we would s i t i n the cove ... °° As a r e s u l t , they behaved i r r a t i o n a l l y : payka found pretexts Ib i d . , p. 1 5 3 -I b i d . , p. 2 1 1 . - 7 6 -to see Shavronov; he begged her to stay away from him, then went to her home and pleaded to be allowed i n . I t was Sonchik's suicide l e t t e r that f i n a l l y convinced payka that the only thing that made l i f e worth l i v i n g was a meaningful love be-tween man and woman. With t h i s r e a l i z a t i o n , Fayka turned down the a l t e r n a t i v e of the morphine f o r the reunion with Shavronov through which they would both be f u l f i l l e d . CONCLUSION Communist doctrine and the emotional needs of the human psyche constantly vied against each other and tore apart those who wanted to r e b u i l d . L a r i s a Reisner aptly describes the destructive process. The r e v o l u t i o n squanders i t s profes-s i o n a l workers wantonly. I t i s an inex-orable master with whom there i s no use discussing a six-hour day, maternity ben e f i t s or higher pay. It appropriates everything—men's brains, w i l l s , nerves, and l i v e s — a n d , having sucked them dry, maimed and exhausted them, discards them on the nearest scrap heap and r e c r u i t s g lorious new s o l d i e r s from the vast r e -serves of the masses.97 It i s p r e c i s e l y such a r e a l i s t i c p o r t r a y a l that was depicted by the authors previously discussed: Kozakov, Malashkin, Grabar', and N i k i f o r o v . That these authors presented an ac-curate d e s c r i p t i o n i s apparent from the s i m i l a r i t y of t h e i r c r i t i q u e s of the s o c i a l order. Their main a t t i t u d e s did not d i f f e r g r e a t l y ; they merely varied i n t h e i r degree of pes-simism. In Kozakov's "Meshchanin Adameyko," the s i t u a t i o n was completely gloomy and there were no redeeming features. Malashkin's scene was only a shade b r i g h t e r . He presented Peter as an exemplary character and also intimated there were a few good peasants. Grabar' was somewhat more o p t i m i s t i c than the other two. Although a number of h i s characters 97 17 L a r i s a Reisner, Front (Moscow: Krasnaya nov', 1 9 2 4 ) , p. 5. - 7 7 -- 78 -were destroyed, one survived and two a c t u a l l y experienced a moral regeneration. N i k i f o r o v had the most p o s i t i v e outlook of the group, f o r i n h i s novels, only the weakest characters perished. The stronger ones, both p r o l e t a r i a t and bourgeois, learned to adapt themselves to the system and become produc-t i v e members of society. The authors discussed were p a r t i c u l a r l y concerned with the tremendous psychological stress placed on the i n d i v i d u a l . A sudden conversion to a t o t a l l y new philosophy of l i f e was impossible. The Utopian state as outlined i n Marxism was unattainable. Many from the former upper classes were also burdened by the a d d i t i o n a l pressure of c l a s s g u i l t . Although some resolved t h i s dilemma, those who could not became men-t a l l y imbalanced. The r e v o l u t i o n could be equated to e l e c t r i c shock t r e a t -ments. Through i t s traumatic destruction of normal l i f e pro-cesses, many l a t e n t q u a l i t i e s , which otherwise would probably have l a i n dormant forever, were brought to the surface. In some, t h i s r e s u l t e d i n a vigorous drive to reconstruct the State; i n others, i t brought out more undesirable t r a i t s such as opportunism and avarice. T r a g i c a l l y , the very people who wanted to a c t u a l i z e the revolutionary i d e a l were the ones anni h i l a t e d . Thus, instead of a new s o c i a l order, the r e -v o l u t i o n had created a chaotic state which would undergo many changes before i t acquired a degree of a c c e p t i b i l i t y . - 79 -Kozakov, Malashkin, Grabar 1, and Nik i f o r o v were graphic i n t h e i r d e s c r i p t i o n of t h i s turmoil. Because they were cour-ageous enough to reveal the d e f i c i e n c i e s , a l l four w r i t e r s were extremely popular with the public e s p e c i a l l y among the youth during the NEP period and shor t l y t h e r e a f t e r . Works by Grabar' and Malashkin were even recommended by the Pr o f e s s i o n a l Union. However, t h e i r r e a l i s t i c p o r t r a y a l of the s o c i a l c l i -mate aroused unfavourable re a c t i o n among Communist c r i t i c s and put the authors' careers and l i v e s i n jeopardy. Their works were l a b e l l e d T r o t s k y i s t ; therefore, they had to be kept from the people. 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Russian Intellectual History. New York, Harcourt, Brace and World, 1966. Reavey, G. Soviet Literature Today. London, Lindsay Drum-mond, 1946; New Haven, Yale University Press, 1947. Reisner, L. Front. Moscow, 1924. Ruhle, J. Literature and Revolution; A C r i t i c a l Study of the Writer and Communism in the Twentieth Century. Trans, and ed. hy J. Steinberg. New York, Praeger, 1969. Russkiy Literaturny Arkhiv. Ed. by D. Cizevsky and M. Karpovich. New York, published under the auspices of the De-partment of Slavic Languages and Literatures of Harvard University and the Harvard College Library, 1956. Sakulin, P. N. Iz i s t o r i i russkogo idealizma. Vol. I. Mo s c ow, 1913. . Russkaya li t e r a t u r a . Sotsiologo-sinteticheskiy obzor literaturnykh s t i l e y . Moscow, 1929. Schlesinger, R. Sp i r i t of Post-War Russia; Soviet Ideology,  1917-194FT New York, Universal Distributors, 1947. - 89 -Selivanovskiy, A. P. V literaturnykh boyakh. Moscow, 1959. Serge, V. Prom Lenin to Stalin. Trans, by R. Manbeim. New York, Pioneer Publications,. 1 9 3 7 . Scott, H. G., ed. Problems of Soviet Literature; Reports  and Speeches at the F i r s t Writers' Congress. London, Lawrence, 1955. Simmons, E. J. Introduction to Russian Realsim; Pushkin,  Gogol, Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, Chekhov, Sholokhov. Bloomington, Indiana University Press, 1967. , ed. Through the Glass of Soviet Literature. New York, Columbia University Press, 1953. Siniavskii, A. D. For Freedom of Imagination. New York, Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1971. Slonim, M. Soviet Russian Literature; Writers and Problems. New York, Oxford University Press, 1964; new ed., 1967. Struve, G. Soviet Russian Literature. London, Routledge, 1955: . 25 Years of Soviet Russian Literature. London, Routledge, 1944. Tarasenkov, A. Idei i obrazy sovetskoy literatury. Moscow, 1949. Tolstoy, A. N. Chetvert' veka sovetskoy literatury. Loklad  na yubileynoy sessii Akademii Nauk SSSR 18 noyabrya  1942 goda! Moscow, 1943. Tompkins, S. R. The Russian Intelligentsia. Norman,•Univer-sity of Oklahoma Press, 1957. Trotsky, L. Literature and Revolution. Trans, by R. Strunsky. New York, International Publishers, 1925; London, Allen & Unwin, 1925; new ed., Ann Arbor, University of Michigan Press, 1960. Vernadsky, G. The Russian Revolution, 1917-1931. New York, Holt, 1932. Voronsky, A. Literaturnye portrety. 2 vols. Moscow, 1928-29. - 90 -Walpole, H., ed. Tendencies of the Modern Soviet Novel. London, Allen & Tjnwin, 1934. Yakubovskiy, G. P i s a t e l i Kuznitsy. Moscow, 1929. Zavalishin, V. Early Soviet Writers. New York, Praeger, 1958. Information about a l l books published in the Soviet Union may be obtained from the monthly Knizhnaya Letopis, issued by the State Publishing House, Moscow. 


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