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Entries / Samizdat (Underground Press) (Entry)

Samizdat (Underground Press) (Entry)

Categories / Literature. Book Publishing/Publishing Houses

SAMIZDAT included literary and artistic, publicistic, philosophical, religious compositions etc. which could not be published in the official press for ideological reasons and were distributed without sanction or control from the state. The term Samizdat (underground press) became widespread in the 1950s. Publications of Samizdat were rewritten by hand, typed on typewriters and replicated by other methods. Samizdat was the only form of existence of the free press in the Soviet time; it was here that the full variety of the spiritual life of the society was reflected, problems disturbing its independently thinking part were covered. The literary-artistic Samizdat became the most widespread in Leningrad in the 1950-80s which contributed to the rehabilitation of the cultural traditions broken by the Communist regime. Poems by poets of the Silver Age (A. A. Akhmatova, N. S. Gumilev, O. E. Mandelstam), prose by M. A. Bulgakov, E. I. Zamyatin, A. P. Platonov, compositions by writers of OBERIU (Union for Realistic Art), poems, prose and memoirs by the former prisoners of GULAG (concentration camps) (E. S. Ginzburg, A. I. Solzhenitsyn, V. T. Shalamov), works by writers-emigrants (V. V. Nabokov, V. F. Khodasevich), translations of foreign authors (F. Kafka, G. Orwell) were replicated in the Samizdat. Works by Leningrad writers which did not fit within the ideological and aesthetic confines of social realism, such as those of L. L. Aronson, I. A. Brodsky, V. B. Krivulin, R. C. Mandelstam, A. S. Morev et al. were saved and published thanks to the Samizdat. Group collections were published in Samizdat along with works by separate authors: Prism (1961-62; edited by B. I. Taygin, K. K. Kuzminsky), Fioretti (1965; edited by A. S. Churilin) etc. Journals of Samizdat contributed to the consolidation of the informal cultural movement in Leningrad from the middle of the 1970s: 37 (1976-81; edited by T. M. Gorichev, Krivulin, L. A. Rudkevich), Hours (1976-90; edited by B. I. Ivanov, B. V. Ostanin), Northern Post (1979-81; edited by S. V. Dedyulin, Krivulin), Obvodny Canal (1981-93; edited by K. M. Butyrin, S. G. Stratanovsky). The abstract journal of Samizdat Summa (The Sum) was published in 1979-82 (edited by S. Y. Maslov). The need for the Samizdat declined at the beginning of the 1990s, after the abolition of the party control over press.

References: Самиздат: По материалам конференции "30 лет независимой печати. 1950-80 гг.". СПб., 1993; Иванов Б. И. В бытность Петербурга Ленинградом: О ленингр. самиздате // НЛО. 1995. №14. С. 188-199; Самиздат Ленинграда, 1950-е-1980-е: Лит. энцикл. М., 2003.

V. E. Dolinin, D. Y. Severyuhin.

Akhmatova Anna Andreevna
Aronson Leonid Lvovich
Brodsky Iosif Alexandrovich
Bulgakov Mikhail Afanasievich
Butyrin Kirill Mikhailovich
Churilin Alexander Sergeevich
Dedyulin Sergey Vladimirovich
Ginzburg Evgenia Semenovna
Goricheva Tatyana Mikhailovna
Gumilev Nikolay Stepanovich
Ivanov Boris Ivanovich
Kafka Franz
Khodasevich Vladimir Felitsianovich
Krivulin Viktor Borisovich
Kuzminsky Konstantin Konstantinovich
Mandelstam Osip Emilievich
Mandelstam Roald Charlzovich
Maslov Sergey Yurievich
Morev (real name Ponomarev) Alexander Sergeevich
Nabokov Vladimir Vladimirovich
Orwell George (real name Blair Eric)
Ostanin Boris Vladimirovich
Platonov Andrey Platonovich
Rudkevich Lev Alexandrovich
Shalamov Varlam Tikhonovich
Solzhenitsyn Aleхander Isaevich
Stratanovsky Sergey Georgievich
Taygin Boris Ivanovich
Zamyatin Evgeny Ivanovich

Иванов Б.И. В бытность Петербурга Ленинградом: О ленингр. самиздате // Новое лит. обозрение, 1995
Самиздат Ленинграда, 1950-е - 1980-е: Лит. энцикл. М., 2003
Самиздат: (По материалам конф. "30 лет независимой печати. 1950-80 гг.". СПб., 1993