Article: PDF
DOI: 10.51762/1FK-2021-26-04-22
Abstract: The Soviet literary pantheon of foreign writers widely read and popular in the USSR was made up as a result of conscious focused efforts and purposeful work of Soviet literary institutions. The case study of Theodore Dreiser (who was criticized as a “petty- bourgeois individualist” in the 1920s but gained a reputation of the greatest twentieth- century American classic and the best friend of the Soviet Union by the early 1930s) allows the researchers to uncover and analyze the mechanism of emergence of such a phenomenon as “a Soviet foreign classic”. The study carried out in the spirit of historico- literary and source- based approach involves in-depth exploration of Dreiser’s Soviet translations and publishing strategy that culminated in the twelve- volume collected works published in 1950–1955, as well as detailed examination of literary criticism in periodicals and books that reflected Dreiser’s growing reputation – obviously a response to the changing political agenda and ideological shifts. The paper is based on published materials and unpublished documents from the Russian archives, inclu- ding Dreiser’s correspondence with Soviet literary institutions, periodicals, editors, critics; the authors also use feedback from readers organized and gathered by Goslitizdat – reviews and comments made by “ordinary people” on Dreiser’s views and beliefs, his novels, plots, characters and style. Special attention is paid to the principles of selection of Dreiser’s works by editors and publishers who presented Dreiser to the Soviet readers in the “correct” perspective. The authors look at the phenomenon of Dreiser’s Soviet texts – publications in Soviet press unknown to American audience and adaptations of Dreiser’s works for stage and filming, made by Soviet dramatists and their role in the formation of the Soviet canon of Dreiser. Diving into this material helps to reconstruct the me- thods applied by agents of the Soviet “literary field” to create and convey a specific Soviet image of Dreiser, quite different from his image and reputation at home.
Key words: American literature; American writers; literary creative activity; literary genres; literary canon; Soviet publishing policy; Soviet period; literary criticism; receptions; Soviet-American literary relations; translated literature; translations

Для цитирования:

Панов, С. И. Теодор Драйзер – «советский зарубежный классик» / С. И. Панов, О. Ю. Панова // Philological Class. – 2021. – Vol. 26 ⋅ №4. – С. 249–262. DOI 10.51762/1FK-2021-26-04-22.

For citation

Panov, S. I., Panova, O. Yu. (2021). Theodore Dreiser as a “Soviet Foreign Classic”. In Philological Class. 2021. Vol. 26 ⋅ №4. P. 249–262. DOI 10.51762/1FK-2021-26-04-22.

About the author(s) :

Sergei I. Panov

A. M. Gorky Institute of World Literature of the Russian Academy of Sciences (Moscow, Russia)

ORCID ID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-7240-7219


Olga Yu. Panova

A. M. Gorky Institute of World Literature of the Russian Academy of Sciences Lomonosov Moscow State University (Moscow, Russia)

ORCID ID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-2520-120X

Publication Timeline:

Date of receipt: 05.10.2021; date of publication: 25.12.2021.


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