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Prokhorov, Alexander V. (2002) INHERITED DISCOURSE: STALINIST TROPES IN THAW CULTURE. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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My dissertation argues that while Thaw cultural producers believed that they had abandoned Stalinist cultural practices, their works continued to generate, in revised form, the major tropes of Stalinist culture: the positive hero, and family and war tropes. Although the cultural Thaw of the 1950s and 60s embraced new values, it merely reworked Stalinist artistic practices. On the basis of literary and cinematic texts, I examine how these two media reinstantiated the fundamental tropes of Russo-Soviet culture.In the first two chapters, I discuss approaches to Thaw literature and film in Western and Soviet scholarship, and my methodology, which is best defined as cultural semiotics. Chapter Three discusses the instantiations of the positive hero in Thaw literature and film. As case studies I adduce Boris Pasternak's Doctor Zhivago (1957) and Grigorii Kozintsev's film adaptation of Hamlet (1964). The fourth chapter examines how Thaw culture redefines the family and war tropes in trench prose and film melodrama. As case studies I discuss Viktor Nekrasov's war novel In the Trenches of Stalingrad (1947) and Mikhail Kalatozov's melodrama Cranes Are Flying (1957). The fifth chapter treats the ironic reworkings of the major tropes in Soviet culture of the 1960s. My case studies consist of Vasilii Aksenov's novel Ticket to the Stars (1961) and El'dar Riazanov's film Beware of a Car (1966). Irony, as one of the major taboos of socialist realism, was absent during Stalinism and early Thaw culture but became an increasingly dominant mode of late Soviet aesthetics. The dissertation traces the evolution of Soviet cultural tropes in literature and film of the Thaw: from the project of redefining them to the project of distancing from them. While the majority of writers on the period argue the radical departure of Thaw producers from the Stalinist cultural practices, I argue for the understanding of the Thaw as the period sharing basic cultural tropes with Stalinism while their specific instantiations in various modes of cultural production became different due to the changes in cultural capital, technologies, and values.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Prokhorov, Alexander
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairGoscilo, Helenagoscilo@pitt.eduGOSCILO
Committee MemberFischer, Lucylfischer@pitt.eduLFISCHER
Committee MemberAltshuller, Markaltshul@pitt.eduALTSHUL
Committee MemberCondee, Nancycondee@pitt.eduCONDEE
Committee MemberPadunov, Vladimirpadunov@pitt.eduPADUNOV
Date: 15 October 2002
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 26 April 2002
Approval Date: 15 October 2002
Submission Date: 24 July 2002
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Slavic Languages and Literatures
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Cultural Studies; Film Studies; History of Soviet Cu
Other ID:, etd-07242002-135513
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 19:53
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 13:46


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