Devastation and Laughter: Satire, Power, and Culture in the Early Soviet State (1920s–1930s)

By Annie Gérin

© 2018

In Devastation and Laughter, Annie Gérin explores the use of satire in the visual arts, the circus, theatre, and cinema under Lenin and Stalin. Gérin traces the rise and decline of the genre and argues that the use of satire in official Soviet art and propaganda was neither marginal nor un-theorized. The author sheds light on the theoretical texts written in the 1920s and 1930s by Anatoly Lunacharsky, the Soviet Commissar of Enlightenment, and the impact his writings had on satirists. While the Avant-Garde and Socialist Realism were necessarily forward-looking and utopian, satire afforded artists the means to examine critically past and present subjects, themes, and practice. Devastation and Laughter is the first work to bring Soviet theoretical writings on the use of satire to the attention of scholars outside of Russia. By introducing important bodies of work that have largely been overlooked in the fields of art history, film and theatre history, Annie Gérin provides a nuanced and alternative reading of early Soviet art.

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Product Details

  • Division: Scholarly Publishing
  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 280 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.0in x 0.0in x 9.0in
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SKU# SP004791

  • AVAILABLE SEP 2018

    From: $60.00

    Regular Price: $80.00

    ISBN 9781487502430
  • AVAILABLE JAN 2018

    From: $60.00

    Regular Price: $80.00

Quick Overview

In Devastation and Laughter, Annie Gérin explores the use of satire in the visual arts, the circus, theatre, and cinema under Lenin and Stalin.

Devastation and Laughter: Satire, Power, and Culture in the Early Soviet State (1920s–1930s)

By Annie Gérin

© 2018

In Devastation and Laughter, Annie Gérin explores the use of satire in the visual arts, the circus, theatre, and cinema under Lenin and Stalin. Gérin traces the rise and decline of the genre and argues that the use of satire in official Soviet art and propaganda was neither marginal nor un-theorized. The author sheds light on the theoretical texts written in the 1920s and 1930s by Anatoly Lunacharsky, the Soviet Commissar of Enlightenment, and the impact his writings had on satirists. While the Avant-Garde and Socialist Realism were necessarily forward-looking and utopian, satire afforded artists the means to examine critically past and present subjects, themes, and practice. Devastation and Laughter is the first work to bring Soviet theoretical writings on the use of satire to the attention of scholars outside of Russia. By introducing important bodies of work that have largely been overlooked in the fields of art history, film and theatre history, Annie Gérin provides a nuanced and alternative reading of early Soviet art.

Continue Reading Read Less

Product Details

  • Division: Scholarly Publishing
  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 280 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.0in x 0.0in x 9.0in
  • Author Information

    Annie Gérin is a professor in the Department of Art History at the Université du Québec à Montréal.
  • Table of contents

    List of Illustrations

    Transliteration, Translations, Dates

    Acknowledgments

    Introduction: Devastation and Laughter

    1: Anatoly Lunacharsky and the Power of Laughter

    2: Soviet Satirical Print Culture, a Serious Affair

    3: Laughter in the Ring, in the Street and on Stage: The Emergence of a “Satirical Scene”

    4: Laughter on the Silver Screen: From Satire to Optimistic Comedy

    5: The Strategies and Targets of Satire

    6: The Rhetorics of Satire and Socialist Realism

    Conclusion

    Appendix: “On Laughter” (1931)

    Notes

    Bibliography

    Index