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Papers: Special Section

No. 9 (2020): Time, History, Biography: Theoretical Aspects of the Study of Ego-Documents

In a Wonderland They Lie? Today’s Russia: A Testimony of the New Soviet Enthusiasm in the 1930s by August Cesarec

  • Ivana Peruško
DOI
https://doi.org/10.25430/2281-6992/v9-011
Submitted
December 30, 2020
Published
2020-12-31

Abstract

This article examines a set of ego-documents (Today’s Russia by A. Cesarec) to pose a question: does the paradigm of fear in Stalin’s 1930s exclude the paradigm of enthusiasm? Have the memories of the horrors and fears of the Great Terror and the Gulag era erased the memory of the enthusiastic atmosphere and happiness of the Soviet Golden Age? Cesarec’s Today’s Russia evokes the same skepticism which, according to Kuromiya, Western historiography held towards Soviet memoirs on their exploits and successes in the 1930s, labelling them as Soviet propaganda, i.e. historically improbable material, lakirovka or fraud. The main task of this article is to decipher, i.e. to reconstruct, Cesarec’s image of the ‘facts of the epoch’, as Iurii Lotman put it in his book Within Thinking Worlds.

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