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Between Truth and TimeA History of Soviet Central Television$
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Christine E. Evans

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780300208481

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300208481.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM YALE SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.yale.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Yale University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in YSO for personal use.date: 28 September 2021

Not a Mirror but a Magnifying Glass

Not a Mirror but a Magnifying Glass

Soviet Television Enthusiasm

(p.21) Chapter One Not a Mirror but a Magnifying Glass
Between Truth and Time

Christine E. Evans

Yale University Press

This chapter focuses on Soviet television “enthusiasm,” the set of values and ambitions espoused by Central Television workers in the second half of the 1950s. It first considers the creation of the Moscow Youth Festival as the founding moment of a new, festive television aesthetics in the Soviet Union. It then discusses some of the problems encountered by Central Television workers that rendered theater critic Vladimir Sappak's linkage between liveness, unscriptedness, and the everyday impossible, with particular emphasis on the quiz show Evening of Merry Questions. The chapter also explores the role of television workers and members of the intelligentsia as model persons on screen, along with on-air roles by television journalists; and the Central Committee's 1960 decree “On the Future Development of Soviet Television.” Finally, it explains how a more limited version of Soviet television enthusiasm persisted, and even flourished, through the 1970s and to the present.

Keywords:   television enthusiasm, Central Television, Moscow Youth Festival, television aesthetics, Vladimir Sappak, Evening of Merry Questions, television workers, intelligentsia, journalists, Central Committee

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