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Literary Theory and Marxist Criticism

Author Name: Samiran Kumar Paul | Format: Paperback | Genre : Literature & Fiction | Other Details

The Communist Party’s attitude toward art in this period was, in general, epiphenomenal of its economic policy. A resolution of 1925 voiced the party’s refusal to sanction anyone’s literary faction. This reflected the New Economic Policy (NEP) of a limited free-market economy. The period of the First Five-Year Plan (1928–1932) saw a more or less voluntary return to a more committed artistic posture, and during the second Five-Year Plan (1932–1936), this commitment was crystallized in the formation of a Writers’ Union. The first congress of this union in 1934, featuring speeches by Maxim Gorky and Bukharin, officially adopted socialist realism, as defined primarily by Andrei Zhdanov (1896–1948). Aptly dubbed by Terry Eagleton as “Stalin’s cultural thug,” it was Zhdanov whose proscriptive shadow thenceforward fell over Soviet cultural affairs. Although Nikolai Bukharin’s speech at the congress had attempted a synthesis of Formalist and sociological attitudes, premised on his assertion that within “the microcosm of the word is embedded the macrocosm of history,” Bukharin was eventually to fall from his position as the leading theoretician of the party: his trial and execution, stemming from his political and economic differences with Stalin, were also symptomatic of the fact that Formalism soon became a sin once more. Bukharin had called for socialist realism to portray not reality “as it is” but rather as it exists in socialist imagination.


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Samiran Kumar Paul

Samiran Kumar Paul is a vociferous reader and writer, poet, critic, journalist, and novelist. He has got over a dozen books published in the past forty years. His contributory writings were published in different literary journals in reviews. He has edited a number of books. He is a multilingual poet. He writes poems in Hindi, English, and Bengali. His memorable work on Rabindranath Tagore’s “Gitanjali” earned him three national awards- ‘Rabindra Samman Award in 2011, Bharat Gaurav Award in 2015; and Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar Award in 2019. Besides, he is an eminent freelance English journalist. He worked as a standing columnist for “The Indian Nation,” the first leading English daily of Bihar. At present, he is a University Professor and Head of English, B R A Bihar University, Muzaffarpur.