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date: 14 December 2019

Abstract and Keywords

The quintessentially Soviet element of cultural development in the USSR between 1932 and 1991 was Socialist Realism. The period prior to the 1930s was its preface and that from the mid-1950s a long post-script. By the mid-1980s, Soviet publics had moved irreversibly beyond Socialist Realism in all the arts, and no viable new contender could assume the particularist mantle. The best official offerings to compete with new Western movements after 1945 were too little and too late. In the absence of a viable particularist contender and with institutions of isolationism eroding, Soviet culture inexorably drew closer to its counterparts abroad. By 1991 it had been gone so long that its formal passing was hardly noticed.

Keywords: Socialist Realism, theatre, literature, ‘The Thaw’, ‘village prose’, popular culture, youth culture, reading public, cinema, jazz, rock music, radio, television, Westernization

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