For decades Stalinist literature, film, and art was almost exclusively deemed political propaganda imposed from on high, devoid of any aesthetic significance. In this book, Evgeny Dobrenko suggests an entirely new view: socialism did not produce Socialist Realism to “prettify reality”; rather, Socialist Realism itself produced socialism by elevating socialism to reality status, giving it material form. Without art, socialism could not have materialized. Bringing together the Soviet historical experience and Stalin-era art-novels, films, poems, songs, painting, photography, architecture, and advertising-Dobrenko examines Stalinism's representational strategies and demonstrates how real socialism was begotten of Socialist Realism. Socialist Realism, he concludes, was Stalinism's most effective sociopolitical institution.
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