Honest Jacobins: High stalinism and the socialist subjectivity of Mikhail Lifshitz and Andrei Platonov

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Abstract

This article aims to develop a better understanding of Andrei Platonov’s mature view of Soviet socialism by considering his unfinished novel, Happy Moscow (1931-36), in the context of Mikhail Lifshits’ and Georg Lukács’ philosophical movement of the 1930s, known as the Current. In light of the Current’s conceptualization of Stalinism as a peculiar form of Thermidor that did not spell an unequivocal end to the Russian Revolution, I argue that Platonov’s Happy Moscow articulates an enduring commitment to Soviet socialism and its utopian possibilities. To do so, Happy Moscow deploys the notion of a tragic confrontation between humankind and nature as a cornerstone for elaborating a model of a radically socialist “difficult happiness,” a view onto which had been made possible for the author as a result of the transformations of the 1930s.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)576-601
Number of pages26
JournalRussian Review
Volume77
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cultural Studies
  • Language and Linguistics
  • History
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Literature and Literary Theory

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