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Late StalinismThe Aesthetics of Politics$
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Evgeny Dobrenko

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780300198478

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300198478.001.0001

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Populism Instead of Music

(p.236) 5 Realästhetik
Late Stalinism

Evgeny Dobrenko

Yale University Press

This chapter describes the effectiveness of politico-ideological transformations that is assured by the accessibility of propaganda. It talks about the “popular spirit” as a key category of Socialist Realism, which produces the image of the people as the Stalinist Regime wanted to see them. It also describes the popular spirit as a key characteristic of Socialist Realism that gained a new momentum in 1948 during the campaign against “formalism” in music. The chapter investigates the “realistic trend in music” that Andrei Zhdanov fought for in relation to extreme pragmatism and realism as the regime's aesthetic strategy for articulating the intentions of the masses. It assesses the Realästhetik campaign that focused on the popular spirit theme in music, theater, cinema, and literature.

Keywords:   politico-ideological transformations, popular spirit, Socialist Realism, Stalinist Regime, formalism, Andrei Zhdanov, Realästhetik

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