THE POLITICAL, SOCIAL AND RELIGIOUS THOUGHT OF RUSSIAN ""SAMIZDAT"": AN ANTHOLOGY by Michael & Boris Shragin--Eds. Meerson-Aksenov

THE POLITICAL, SOCIAL AND RELIGIOUS THOUGHT OF RUSSIAN ""SAMIZDAT"": AN ANTHOLOGY

By
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

This collection of ""samizdat"" shows the Russian dissident movement to be as varied in outlooks and opinions as the personalities of its contributors. In presenting samples from the last ten years of ""samizdat,"" the editors are saying that it is no longer an ""incidental literary phenomenon"" but rather a forum for freedom of expression in all areas. It is not just anti-Marxist: Medvedev, no ideological fan of Solzhenitsyn, attacks him for his ignorance of Marxism and for his Russian chauvinism. Nor are dissident writers always in literary agreement: while congratulating Kuznetsov on his emigration, Amai'rik lambastes him for contending that the Russian writer must seek accommodation with the government to survive and makes a few cutting remarks about Kuznetsov's talents as a writer. Pleas for freedom of religion run alongside an article warning about nco-Nazi dangers in the Soviet Union and a shocking anti-Semitic letter to Solzhenitsyn. In ""Russian Messianism and the New National Consciousness,"" Gorsldi (a pseudonym) asks rhetorically ""What is Russia? What is the meaning of its existence?"" The editors point this out as one of the most provocative articles, since its original publication gave rise to steady attacks in ""samizdat"" in 1972 from authors representing the national patriotic tendency. This sort of background information is the greatest attraction of the anthology; the chapter introductions throughout the book constitute an invaluable history of ""samizdat"" and its many modern directions and implications.

Pub Date: June 1st, 1977
Publisher: Nordland