Picturing the Page: Soviet Illustrated Children’s Literature and Reading under Lenin

By Megan Swift

© 2020

Based on sources from rare book libraries in Russia and around the world, Picturing the Page offers a vivid exploration of illustrated children’s literature and reading under Lenin and Stalin – a period when mass publishing for children and universal public education became available for the first time in Russia. Through an analysis of illustrations in fairy tales, classics, and wartime picture books, Megan Swift elucidates the vital and multifaceted function of illustrated children’s literature in repurposing the past.

Picturing the Page demonstrates that while the texts of the past remained fixed, illustrations could slip between the pages to mediate and annotate that past, as well as connect with anti-religious, patriotic, and other campaigns that were central to Soviet children’s culture after the 1917 Revolution. The author also shows that during World War II, picture books created a sense of a shared past by reaching out to child readers of the 1940s and beyond them to their parents, the first generation of Soviet readers who had been shaped by the pictures on the page.

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Product Details

  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 256 pages
  • Illustrations: 99
  • Dimensions: 6.0in x 1.0in x 9.0in
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SKU# SP003672

  • AVAILABLE JUN 2020

    From: $22.46

    Regular Price: $29.95

    ISBN 9781442615311
  • AVAILABLE JUN 2020

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    Regular Price: $75.00

    ISBN 9781442647152
  • AVAILABLE JUN 2020

    From: $22.46

    Regular Price: $29.95

Quick Overview

This is the first work to examine illustrated children’s literature under Lenin and Stalin and to make use of rarely-explored Soviet children’s books from libraries around the world.

Picturing the Page: Soviet Illustrated Children’s Literature and Reading under Lenin

By Megan Swift

© 2020

Based on sources from rare book libraries in Russia and around the world, Picturing the Page offers a vivid exploration of illustrated children’s literature and reading under Lenin and Stalin – a period when mass publishing for children and universal public education became available for the first time in Russia. Through an analysis of illustrations in fairy tales, classics, and wartime picture books, Megan Swift elucidates the vital and multifaceted function of illustrated children’s literature in repurposing the past.

Picturing the Page demonstrates that while the texts of the past remained fixed, illustrations could slip between the pages to mediate and annotate that past, as well as connect with anti-religious, patriotic, and other campaigns that were central to Soviet children’s culture after the 1917 Revolution. The author also shows that during World War II, picture books created a sense of a shared past by reaching out to child readers of the 1940s and beyond them to their parents, the first generation of Soviet readers who had been shaped by the pictures on the page.

Continue Reading Read Less

Product Details

  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 256 pages
  • Illustrations: 99
  • Dimensions: 6.0in x 1.0in x 9.0in
  • Author Information

    Megan Swift is an associate professor of Russian Studies at the University of Victoria.
  • Table of contents

    Introduction: Visualizations of a New Childhood

    Part I: Fairy Tale Nation

    1. The Battle for the Fairy Tale
    2. The Poet, the Priest, and the Peasant
    3. Up, Up, and Away on the Little Humpbacked Horse

    Part II: The Afterlife of Russian Classics

    4. The Bronze Horseman Rides Again
    5. Demonizing Dostoevsky: Katorga and Notes from the House of the Dead
    6. Anna Karenina and the Mother and Child Reunion

    Part III: Children and the War

    7. The Militarization of Children’s Literature and Culture
    8. Child Martyrs and Heroes
    9. Pochta: Circulation, Delivery, Return

    Conclusion: Yesterday and Today

    Bibliography

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