Talk: The Soviet Gnomic: Semantic Peculiarities of Stalinist Ideological Speech by Petre Petrov
Fri, April 26, 2013 • 12:00 PM • CAL 422
Gnomic expressions are statements that convey the kind of "timeless wisdom" often found in proverbs ("Dead men tell no lies"). Their chief characteristic is that they, indeed, refer us to happenings outside of time and definite physical space. Soviet ideology had its gnomic wisdom, except that it was not necessarily timeless or place-less. The talk will examine this type of propositions, which acquired a salient presence in Stalinist political discourse at the beginning of the 1930s, and suggest how their semantic peculiarities illuminate the character of early Soviet ideology.
Petre Petrov is an Assistant Professor of Russian at Princeton University, where he teaches courses on twentieth-century Russian literature and culture, Russian and East-European cinema, and topics of persistent fascination. His publications have been devoted to Stalinist socialist realism, Russian literary and cultural theory, film, and topics in modernism. His book, Automatic for the Masses: Authorship and Agency in Early Soviet Culture is under contract with Toronto University Press, and is set to appear in early 2014.
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