A Companion to Soviet Children's Literature and Film


Editor: Olga Voronina
A Companion to Soviet Children’s Literature and Film offers a comprehensive and innovative analysis of Soviet literary and cinematic production for children. Its contributors contextualize and reevaluate Soviet children’s books, films, and animation and explore their contemporary re-appropriation by the Russian government, cultural practitioners, and educators.
Celebrating the centennial of Soviet children’s literature and film, the Companion reviews the rich and dramatic history of the canon. It also provides an insight into the close ties between Soviet children’s culture and Avant-Garde aesthetics, investigates early pedagogical experiments of the Soviet state, documents the importance of translation in children’s literature of the 1920-80s, and traces the evolution of heroic, fantastic, historical, and absurdist Soviet narratives for children.

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Olga Voronina is Associate Professor of Russian at Bard College. She co-edited and co-translated, with Brian Boyd, Vladimir Nabokov’s Letters to Véra (Knopf 2015/ Penguin, 2014), and published on Soviet children's literature, media discourse of the Cold War, Post-Soviet transformation of the Russian literary canon, and Nabokov’s art and metaphysics.
Notes on Contributors
Introduction: ''The Only Universal National Text'': On the Centennial of Soviet Children's Literature and Film Olga Voronina

Forging a New Children's Culture: (R)evolution, Poetics, Aesthetics

1 Unnatural Selection: A Natural History of Early Soviet Picturebooks Sara Pankenier Weld
2 The Junctures of Child Psychology and Soviet Avant-Garde Film: Representations, Influences, Applications Ana Hedberg Olenina
3 The Dictionary as a Toy Collection: Interactions between Avant-Garde Aesthetics and Soviet Children's Literature Ainsley Morse
4 The Literary Avant-Garde and Soviet Literature for Children: OBERIU in the Leningrad Periodicals Еж and Чиж Oleg Minin

Constructing Socialism, Building the Self: History, Ideology, Narrative

5 Re-Imagining the Past for Future Generations: History as Fiction in Soviet Children's Literature Marina Balina
6 Education of the Soul, Bolshevik Style: Pedagogy in Soviet Children's Literature from the 1920s to the early 1930s Olga Voronina
7 ''Be Always Ready!'': Hero Narratives in Soviet Children's Literature Svetlana Maslinskaya
8 Unspeakable Truths: Children of the Siege in Soviet Literature Tatiana Voronina and Polina Barskova

New Approaches to the Avant-Garde: Reconstructing the Canon

9 Children's Poetry and Translation in the Soviet Era: Strategies of Rewriting, Transformation and Adaptation Maria Khotimsky
10 Under the Hypnosis of Disney: Ivan Ivanov-Vano and Soviet Animation for Children Lora Wheeler Mjolsness
11 Embracing Eccentricity: Золушка and the Avant-Garde Imagination Larissa Rudova
12 The Queer Legacies of Late Socialism, or What Cheburashka and Gary Shteyngart Have in Common Anna Fishzon
All interested in Soviet children's literature and film, and anyone concerned with the evolution of Russian children's culture from 1917 to the present. Keywords: children's literature, Soviet children's culture, Soviet animation, Russian Avant-Garde, 1920s pedagogical experiments, OBERIU, pioneer organization, translation, psychoanalysis, Soviet school, picturebooks, evolutionary theory of literature, Post-Soviet cultural politics.