Volume 72 Number 1 Abstracts

The Question of the Perpetrator in Soviet History

Lynne Viola

The question of the perpetrator is largely uncharted territory in the history of the Soviet Union. The term is rarely used in the historiography of the Stalinist Soviet Union. In part, this omission is based upon a reluctance to go beyond Iosif Stalin in assigning agency or responsibility for the immense crimes of his reign. In part, the omission derives from decades-long restrictions on archival access. Lynne Viola begins with an exploration of the postwar trajectories of the historiographies of the mid-twentieth century’s classically paired “totalitarian” regimes in order to understand the relative absence of “perpetrator studies” for the Stalinist 1930s. She then examines the question of the Soviet perpetrator, less to demarcate who the perpetrator was than to offer a conceptualization of the range of factors that enabled, conditioned, and shaped their violent acts. Intended to raise questions for further study, Viola’s article is complemented by comments from Wendy Goldman and Peter Fritzsche.

Anti-Westernism on the European Periphery: The Meaning of Soviet-Turkish Convergence in the 1930s

Samuel J. Hirst

A number of recent comparative works have drawn attention to parallels and similarities between the Soviet Union and the early Turkish Republic. In this article, Samuel J. Hirst takes a firmly transnational approach to Soviet-Turkish interactions in the 1930s to demonstrate that the similarities were not merely circumstantial. The manifest ideological conflict between nationalist Turks and internationalist Bolsheviks has led many historians to dismiss Soviet-Turkish cooperation as a necessary response to geopolitics, a pragmatic alliance against the west. Hirst argues that opposition to the western-dictated international order was a coherent element in Soviet-Turkish exchanges that stretched beyond diplomacy into the economic and cultural spheres. The anti-western elements of Soviet-Turkish relations suggest that convergence was more than a case of homologous responses to similar conditions; it was part of a broader narrative that, in the Soviet case at least, continued to shape international relations beyond World War II.

Yugonostalgia and Yugoslav Cultural Memory: Lexicon of Yu Mythology

Aleksandar Bošković

Aleksandar Bošković argues that the Yugonostalgia in the Lexicon of Yu Mythology should be taken, not as a regressive idealization of the Yugoslav socialist past, but as a critical intervention in both the contemporary postsocialist politics of memory and the politics of emancipation. Bošković identifies the Lexicon as an exhibition catalogue of the virtual museum of all “things Yugoslav,” a self-reflective postmodern hybrid emerging from the semantic overlapping of different genres and threaded with various memories, personal and collective, nostalgic and ironic, of everyday life in Yugoslav socialism. Bošković contends that by evoking visual and textual reflections on the meaning of the past for the present, the Lexicon appears to have a materiality akin to that of a ruin: it exhibits a blend of affectionate and ironic nostalgia for the Yugoslav past, while simultaneously performing and reaffirming the socialist modernity’s prospective perspective as its emancipating impact on the social imagination.

Amnesia and the Externalized Personality in Early Dostoevskii

Yuri Corrigan

By tracing a pattern through Fedor Dostoevskii’s early stories-especially The Double, “The Landlady,” and Netochka Nezvanova-in which characters are bound to each other as interacting aspects of a larger personality, Yuri Corrigan explores the problem of individual identity. Entering into debate with classical studies of the self in Dostoevskii from Mikhail Bakhtin to Nikolai Berdiaev, Corrigan explores how the active suppression of memory and interiority in Dostoevskii’s early characters gives rise to the mechanism of intersecting selves, in which the inner architecture of one personality is extended throughout numerous consciousnesses. Through an analysis of these relationships, Corrigan examines how Dostoevskii synthesizes two traditions of doubling in his early writing-the “cognitive” dualism of self-consciousness and the “psychic” dualism of the unconscious-to form a tripartite model of personality that will be important for his later novels.

One Day -Fifty Years Later

Andrew Wachtel

November 2012 marks the fiftieth anniversary of the first publication of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s novella Odin den’ Ivana Denisovicha (One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich) in the Moscow journal Novyi mir. In this article, Andrew Wachtel considers Solzhenitsyn’s pathbreaking work in its original publication context. It examines the editorial preface and the two orthodox contemporary works of Soviet socialist realism the editor chose as bookends for One Day, illustrating the ways in which the surrounding literary context serves to emphasize the socialist realist bona fides of the then unknown Solzhenitsyn. The intertextual links connecting One Day with the works that surround it help to demonstrate that at this point in his career, far from being a dissident, Solzhenitsyn could plausibly be read as an appropriate, albeit unusual, representative of official Soviet literature.