Passing Through Forests of Revolutionary Symbols: Soviet Reception of Kenneth Burke’s Speech at the 1935 American Writers’ Congress
- УДК / UDK: 821.111
- About the author:
Olga Yu. Panova (Doctor Hab. in Philology, Professor, Lomonosov Moscow State University; Lead research fellow, A.M. Gorky Institute of World Literature of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia)
- Abstract: Kenneth Burke’s performance at the First American Writers’ Congress in 1935 has been already considered by American scholars; for this reason the paper aims to complement the existing research with some facts and details that have to do with the Soviet reception of Kenneth Burke’s speech “Revolutionary Symbolism in America” presented on April 27 1935 (the second day of the Congress). The paper is based on the archival material stored in the Russian State Archive of Literature and Art (RGALI) – a manuscript of the American Writers’ Congress proceedings, translated into Russian, edited and fully prepared for the press that nevertheless remained unpublished. The volume was based on the American record of the Congress edited by Henry Hart (International Publishers, 1935), but two papers were removed – Moissaye J. Olgin’s report about the Soviet Writers’ Congress and Kenneth Burke’s speech. The preface to the Russian edition written by the editor Sergei Dinamov throws light on the reasons for excluding Burke’s paper. In his introduction Dinamov dwelt at some length on Burke’s text and criticized his “errors”. Dinamov’s criticism makes it clear that the main problem was the fact that the American “fellow traveler” used the concepts “people” (narod) and “national spirit” (narodnost’) which at the moment were on the agenda in the USSR due to the Popular Front policy. Kenneth Burke’s speech “Revolutionary Symbolism in America” at the First American Writers’ Congress, translated into Russian by Tatiana A. Pirusskaia, is published herewith as an addendum to the essay.
- Keywords: Kenneth Burke, “Revolutionary Symbolism in America”, 1935 American Writers’ Congress, Sergei Dinamov, Soviet publishing policy, archived materials.
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