Socialist Realism

  • C. Vaughan James


When considering Lénin’s theses and the interpretation subsequently put upon them we must be aware that we have to do with an evaluation of nineteenth century phenomena from a twentieth century point of view; we are all the time arguing from hindsight. This is not of itself pernicious; every generation of historians interprets the past afresh in the light of its own experience, and in the process it is more than likely that one kind of distortion is thereby substituted for or overlaid with another. The klássovost’ of the artist’s comprehension of ‘reality’ is matched by that of the historian. As Lénin latched upon the positive, ‘popular’ aspects of Hérzen, Belínsky, Chernyshévsky and Dobrolyúbov, so his heirs and successors chose to stress those aspects of Lénin’s thinking that fit their own thesis. The ideologist is imprisoned in his ideology.


Communist Party Socialist Realism Educative Role Communist Society Draft Resolution 
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References and Notes

  1. 5.
    See Gleb Strúve, Soviet Russian Literature (University of Oklahoma Press, 1951).Google Scholar
  2. 33.
    L. Brézhnev, Report of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (Moscow: Nóvosti Press Agency Publishing House, 1971).Google Scholar
  3. 36.
    K. P. Thompson, ‘Through the Smoke of Budapest’, The Reasoner, No. 3 (November 1956) Supplement 6;Google Scholar
  4. quoted by Neal Wood, Communism and British Intellectuals (Gollancz, 1959).Google Scholar
  5. 38.
    But see Moshe Lewin, Lenin’s Last Struggle (Faber & Faber, 1969; translated from the French).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© C. Vaughan James 1973

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. Vaughan James
    • 1
  1. 1.University of SussexUK

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