Intellectual Life and Literature at Solovki 1923-1930
The Paris of the Northern Concentration Camps

Andrea Gullotta

Legenda (General Series)

Legenda

15 January 2018  •  370pp

ISBN: 978-1-781886-91-5 (hardback)  •  RRP £75, $99, €85

ISBN: 978-1-781883-63-1 (paperback, 7 October 2020  )  •  RRP £13.99, $17.99, €17.99

ISBN: 978-1-781883-64-8 (JSTOR ebook)

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In 1923, the Soviet state decided to create a prison camp on the Solovki archipelago, the site of a former monastery. It became the laboratory of the Gulag, where the techniques of labour-camp exploitation were developed. Prisoners died by the hundreds both within the walls of the monastery and in the frozen forests beyond. Yet the camp's activities in cultural re-education were surprisingly extensive. With the connivance of part of the administration, Solovki became a unique cultural citadel, where the values of a dying intelligentsia were reflected in the works and words of the prisoners, who numbered not only poets and actors but also figures such as the revered Russian scholar Dmitrii Likhachev (1906-99).

Andrea Gullotta's thoroughly documented study reconstructs the cultural history of the camp and provides an in-depth analysis of the literary works published in the press of the Solovki camp up until 1930, thus changing the current research frame on Gulag literature and shedding light on the extraordinary fight of an isolated group of men for intellectual freedom.

Fresh and sophisticated, well-written and highly original, Gullotta's book not only makes an important contribution to the history of Soviet literature, but also illuminates Soviet social and cultural history in 1920-30s. — Evgeny Dobrenko.

Andrea Gullotta is lecturer in Russian at the University of Glasgow. He has also worked for the University of Palermo, the Ca' Foscari University of Venice and the University of Padua, where he obtained his Ph.D. He is co-editor of the journal AvtobiografiЯ, which deals with life-writing and the representation of the self in Russian culture.

Reviews:

  • ‘Small and remote as it is, Solovki has always been central to Russian culture. Nearly all the central themes of Russian history — the power and schisms of the Orthodox Church and its intimacy with the state; the development of the Gulag — are reflected, or more often anticipated, in its history... The legacy of the Terror remains a battlefield. Books as scrupulously researched as Gullotta’s are invaluable.’ — Robert Chandler, Financial Times 27 April 2018
  • ‘Gullotta’s case study of the SLON camp serves as a model for studies of Gulag writing, and makes a bold statement in favor of a new, synthesizing discourse about Gulag literature... All students of Russian literature and of the human condition owe a debt to Andrea Gullotta, who has tread on virgin snow, following in no one’s footsteps.’ — Lydia Roberts, Los Angeles Review of Books 3 May 2018
  • ‘Gullotta’s scholarly, in-depth but quite readable book primarily examines the content of the printed output of work from Solovki in the early period 1923-30 and also considers the circumstances of its production, including the constantly shifting and always ambivalent relations between prisoners and camp administration.’ — Trevor Pateman, Reading This Book Online, 2018
  • ‘Gullotta’s commendable study opens up a new area of Gulag research and adds considerably to our knowledge of the literature of the Soviet labour camps.’ — Sarah J. Young, Slavonic and East European Review 98.3, July 2020, 563-65 (full text online)

Contents:

i-vi
Intellectual Life and Literature at Solovki 1923-1930: Intellectual Life and Literature at Solovki 1923-1930
Andrea Gullotta
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vii-vii
Table of Contents
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viii-ix
List of Abbreviations
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x-x
[map]
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1-16
Introduction
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17-36
Chapter 1 the Solovki Camp and Its Literature
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37-86
Chapter 2 the Slon Between History and Historiography
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87-172
Chapter 3 the Publishing System of the Slon and Its Peculiarities
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173-278
Chapter 4 Slon Literature
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279-284
Conclusion: Slon Literature and Twentieth-Century Russian Literature
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285-310
Appendix 1. Contents of Selected Slon Publications
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311-331
Appendix 2. Biographies
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332-353
Bibliography
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354-360
Index
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Bibliography entry:

Gullotta, Andrea, Intellectual Life and Literature at Solovki 1923-1930: The Paris of the Northern Concentration Camps (Cambridge: Legenda, 2018)

First footnote reference: 35 Andrea Gullotta, Intellectual Life and Literature at Solovki 1923-1930: The Paris of the Northern Concentration Camps (Cambridge: Legenda, 2018), p. 21.

Subsequent footnote reference: 37 Gullotta, p. 47.

(To see how these citations were worked out, follow this link.)

Bibliography entry:

Gullotta, Andrea. 2018. Intellectual Life and Literature at Solovki 1923-1930: The Paris of the Northern Concentration Camps (Cambridge: Legenda)

Example citation: ‘A quotation occurring on page 21 of this work’ (Gullotta 2018: 21).

Example footnote reference: 35 Gullotta 2018: 21.

(To see how these citations were worked out, follow this link.)


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