The Key Features and Periodization of Socialist Realism in the Literary Context

Tetiana Sharova, Sergii Sharov, Oksana Ohulchanska, Alina Zemlianska


The article deals with the research on various aspects of socialist realism from the perspective of belles-lettres. It analyzes the essence and key features of this phenomenon, makes a generalization of approaches to the periodization of socialist realism. In the research, we used historical-typological and sociological methods for the analysis of historical documents and criticism in order to clarify the party policy in the field of literature. The psychoanalytic method was used to study the means of the writer adaptation to the Soviet dictatorship. Anthropological and intertextual methods were used to clarify the peculiarities of the national culture and the literary codes of socialist realism. The method of reconstruction allowed us to depict the picture of the past with the help of archival documents, epistolary, memoirs, etc. It is found out that the formation of socialist realism resulted from the mixture of culture and state party dictatorship in literature and art. Socialist realism provided political manipulation of the mass consciousness and performed the regulatory function for social communication. It is proved that the theory of socialist realism was based on such categories as ideiinist (ideology), klasovist (class content), and partiinist (party-mindedness). At the same time, such categories as creative imagination, fantasy, and fiction were denied. When creating literary texts, writers used ready-made templates, clichés, and stereotypes affecting our perception. The authors of the article analyzed the influence of socialist realism on the cultural preferences of that time’s citizens. The article graphically accumulates the main approaches to the periodization of socialist realism. We analyze the research of H. Gunter, Yu. Boriev, V. Klymchuk, V. Tiupa, and characterize each period. It is revealed that the literature of socialist realism was interpreted on the behavioral (attitude to the state policy) and creative (themes, style, images) levels. In the article, the authors characterize the key features of socialist realism in the context of the structural-stylistic, worldview-universal, figurative (characterological) directions.

Anahtar Kelimeler

Soviet literature, socialist realism, periodization, ideology, phenomenon, discourse

Tam Metin:

PDF (English)


Aheieva, V. P. (2009). Psychoanalysis of social realism: the lyrics of Maxim Rylsky period of the break. Scientific notes of NaUKMA. Series: Philological sciences, 98, 11-24.

Baudin A., & Heller, L. (1998). Le Réalisme socialiste soviétique de la période jdanovienne (1947 – 1953). Bern; Berlin; Frankfurt/M.; New York; Paris; Wien: Peter Lang.

Boriev, Yu. B. (2008). Socialist Realism: Contemporary View and Modern View. Moscow: AST: Olympus.

Bulavka, L. I. (2007). Socialist Realism: The Vicissitudes of Method. Philosophical discourse. Moscow: Cultural Revolution.

Clark, K. (2000). The positive hero as a verbal icon. Socialist Realistic Canon: Collection of Articles, 570-584.

Dobrenko, Ye. (1992). Empire during the Plague, or the Shop of Timelessness (Metaphysical Preconditions of Socialist Realism). Social sciences and modernity, 1, 161-172.

Dobrenko, Ye. (2011). Socialist Realism: the Soviet Empire of Signs Studia Sovietica. Semiosphere of Soviet culture: signs and meanings, 2, 5-13.

Filatova, O. S. (2012). From the artistic and ethereal commune to the discourse of power: the trajectory of socialist realist transformations. Literary Studios, 34, 279-284.

Gudkova, V. (2008). The birth of Soviet subjects. Typology of Russian drama of the 1920s – early 1930s. Moscow: New Literary Review.

Guldberg, J. (1990). Socialist Realism as Institutional Practice: Observations on the Interpretation of the Works of Art of the Stalin Period. The Culture of the Stalin Period, 149-177.

Gunter, H. (2000). Life phases of the socialist realist canon. Socialist Realistic Canon: Collection of Articles. St. Petersburg: Academic project.

Gunter, H. (2010). On the beauty that could not save socialism. New literary review, 101, 13-31.

Günther, H. (1984). Die Verstaatlichung der Literatur Entstehung Und Funktionsweise des Sozialistisch-Realistischen Kanons in Sowjetischen Literatur der 30er Jahre. Stuttgart: Metzler.

Hrois, B. (1992). The birth of socialist realism from the spirit of the Russian avant-garde. Literature issues, 1, 42-61.

Hundorova, T. (2004). Socialist Realism as a mass culture. Modernity, 6, 52-66.

Hundorova, T. (2008). Socialist Realism: between modernism and the avant-garde. Word and Time, 4, 14-21.

Huseinov, G. Ch. (1989). Lies as a state of consciousness. Questions of philosophy, 11, 64-76.

Kara-Murza, S. G. (2002). Soviet civilization. Book one. Moscow: Algorithm.

Klymchuk, V. (2001). Aesthetics of totalitarianism. Modernity, 4, 122-134.

Kovaliv, Yu. (2009). "Socialist Realism" – a dead end in the history of literature. Word and Time, 4, 27-42.

Literary dictionary-reference book (1997). Kyiv: Academy.

Możejko, E. (2001). Realizm socjalistyczny. Teoria Rozwój. Upadek. Kraków.

Nadtochy, Ye. (1989). Friend, Comrade and Bart: A few preliminary remarks on the question of the place of socialist realism in the art of the 20th century. Daugava, 8, 114-126.

Paperny, V. (2011). Culture Two. Moscow: New literary review.

Tiupa, V. (1990) Alternative Realism. Getting rid of mirages: Socialist realism today: collection. Moscow: Soviet writer, 345-372.

Tsekov, Yu. (1994). Renaissance specialty in the Ukrainian writing of the 20s. Word and Time, 2, 13-22.

Tyupa, V. I. (1998). Post-symbolism: theoretical sketches of Russian poetry of the twentieth century. Samara: LLC Research and Development Firm "Sensors, Modules, Systems".

Zalambani, M. (2006). Literature of fact. From the avant-garde to socialist realism. St. Petersburg: Academic project.



  • Şu halde refbacks yoktur.

Telif Hakkı (c) 2020 Journal of History Culture and Art Research

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.