Séance 6 : La technique comme symbole

Séance du 07 mai 2021 | 16h-18h

Intervenant-e-s :

Yuri LEVING (Dalhousie University)
How the Revolution Triumphed: Alisa Poret’s Textbook of Cultural Iconography

Yuri Leving offers an exploration of a Soviet children’s book – How the Revolution Triumphed (Kak pobedila revoliutsiia), illustrated by Alisa Poret (1902–1984). The book, published in 1930, thirteen years after the October Revolution, offered a visual-verbal narrative that served, in effect, as a primer for teaching communism to Soviet children. Its key didactic goal was to introduce the newest generation of Soviet readership to the sequence of historical calamities that led to the Bolshevik seizure of power and, even more importantly, to ensure that their interpretation of the anti-imperial coup was correct. The book relies on both the clear visual expressionism of Poret’s imagery and the accompanying text. WithHow the Revolution Triumphed, Poret invented a didactic « cinebook » (or a « knino »), a hybrid work conceptually blending a totalitarian optics with a print medium. Leving will demonstrate the emergence of a visual vocabulary that successfully blended cinema, photography, graphic art, and book illustrations using dynamic visual language to amplify a story of political upheaval.

Daria SINICHKINA (Sorbonne Université, Eur’ORBEM)
Kuznica and the science of the new “proletarian” poetry

In the aftermath of 1917, a new vocabulary enters the discourse on literature in general and on poetry in particular. The young proletarian culture in the making – its content is intensively debated on the pages of periodicals of different political stripes – formulates its principles using a vocabulary that comes from the fields of politics, science, technology and, last but not least, medicine. Kuznica (the forge), a group of proletarian poets founded in 1920, which includes Mikhail Gerasimov and Vladimir Kirillov, embraces the artisanal metaphor of the “factory” of poets. Nonetheless, while calling for the creation of new rational poetic standards, Kuznica’s manifesto recycles organic and industrial metaphors of the same culture it rejects. The example of Kuznica is particularly interesting for grasping the dynamics at work in the new “proletarian” discourse on poetry in the aftermath of 1917, when poetry was the object of an ambition of rationalization and recasting applied to all living forms.

Discussion : Rodolphe BAUDIN (Sorbonne Université, Eur’ORBEM)


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