The Cracks of Soviet Reality. Andrej Platonov beyond the "lakirovka"
The Cracks of Soviet Reality. Andrej Platonov beyond the "lakirovka". Andrej Platonov (1899-1951), whose main writings Cevengur (1930) and Kotlovan (The foundation Pit, 1929) are traditionally characterized by a biting interpretation of Soviet reality, is rarely associated with socialist realism. But in his incomplete novel Sčastlivaja Moskva (Happy Moscow, 1932-1936), he attempted to adopt the stylistic features and motifs belonging to this literary movement. Unable to abandon a critical view of the contemporary world, he provided his own interpretation of Stalinist reality by combining real-socialist themes with an energetic vision, drawn from Alexander Bogdanov's Tektology, a philosophical theory. In the article, the ways in which the author combines the two elements to distort and problematise the main features of the Stalinist reality are analysed by highlighting its limits and contradictions. He undermines the foundations of Stalin's ideological structures by unmasking existential anxiety among Soviet citizens, arising from the relationship with the harsh reality hidden behind Stalin’s motto ‘living has become better, living has become more joyful’. The counterpart to the construction of socialism is indeed the disintegration of the individual, interpreted according to the energy dynamics suggested by Aleksandr Bogdanov. What opposes progress and historical materialism is instead the static nature of the protagonists or their escape from the capital, Moscow, now ideologically transformed. By subverting the rules of ideology, the author demonstrates the precariousness of a system built from above and imposed on the individual, who puts his own identity at stake and discovers the distance between it and his role in society.
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