Home > Catalogue > Annali di Ca’ Foscari. Serie occidentale > 53 | 2019 > Shaping the Soviet Mass Reader, Moulding Italian Literature

Shaping the Soviet Mass Reader, Moulding Italian Literature

Publishing Strategies in the URSS between Thaw and Stagnation

Ilaria Sicari    Università Ca' Foscari Venezia    



The purpose of this article is to illustrate the different phases of the Soviet editorial process in order to understand on which basis and through which strategies the publication of foreign literature texts was ideologically oriented to the formation of a mass readership. The main object of this study is the analysis of the troubled publishing history of the anthology The Twentieth Century Italian Novella (Ital’yanskaya novella XX veka, 1969), which unfolded during a significant decade (1958-1968), at the turn between the Khrushchev era and the Brezhnev era and against the background of the crisis of the European left, when many European intellectuals changed their position toward Soviet policies. By analysing a corpus composed of critical reviews (obzory) and editorial documents (analyses, critical evaluations and editorial notes) used by the Soviet publishing house Khudozhestvennaya literatura, I will focus on the changes made to the anthology in order to highlight the delicate relationship between the editorial strategies and the political dynamics aimed at a broader control of cultural production in the transition period between Thaw (ottepel’) and Stagnation (zastoi).

Sept. 26, 2019
April 6, 2017
March 7, 2017

Keywords: Soviet criticismSoviet mass readerCensorship in the USSRItalian literatureReader-response criticism

Copyright: © 2019 Ilaria Sicari. This is an open-access work distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction is permitted, provided that the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. The license allows for commercial use. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.