Title of the article:

LITERARY CIRCLES AS A MEANS OF FORMING PROLETARIAN CULTURE. 1920–1923 (based on documents of manuscript department of IWL RAS)


Daria S. Moskovskaya

Olga V. Romanova

Information about the author/authors

Daria S. Moskovskaya — DSc in Philology, Director of Research, Head of the Department of Manuscripts A. M. Gorky Institute of World Literature of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Povarskaya St., 25 a, 121069 Moscow, Russia. ORCID ID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-8089-9604. E-mail: d.moskovskaya@bk.ru

Olga V. Romanova — Research Associate of the Department of Manuscripts, A. M. Gorky Institute of World Literature of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Povarskaya St., 25 a, 121069 Moscow, Russia. ORCID ID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-3684-5331. E-mail: coatle3303@gmail.com


Philological sciences




Vol. 61


pp. 189–198


February 21, 2021

Date of publication

September 28, 2021



Index UDK


Index BBK



This paper was prepared with financial support of the Russian Science Foundation, project № 20-18-00394 “Stenograph: Politics and literature. Digital archive of literary organizations”.


Workers’ literary circles of the 1920s originated from the Proletkult circles. Proletkult circles were free from formal structure and controlled by liberal community writers. Period from 1926 to 1932 became a transition from proletkult communitarianism, concerned with the utopian task of innovative proletarian culture construction, to generation of a powerful corporation, replacing creative possibilities with ideology. Artistic pursuit and development of artistic development became unnecessary. Circles were led by party writers. Archive documents of All-Russian Association of the Proletarian Writers show that, until 1926, VAPP circles taught workers literature process, language, poetics and work of fellow travelers. Until 1929 the main attention was paid at the political course of the Association’s management, massive participation, ideology, rejection of fellow travelers, creation of supporter’s community and new members recruitment — all of the aforesaid became the central point during that time. Circles broke up after 1932. Fear of being accused of collaboration with the Association of the Proletarian Writers, unwelcome for the party, was one of the reasons. Union of the Soviet Writers (SSP), founded in 1932, began reforming the work process of literary circles at factories and embraced circle experience of disbanded Association of the Proletarian Writers, using its ideas for new political and ideological goals.


visual culture, Moscow subway, city, urban environment, screen, content.


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