1934 - Congress Soviet Writers
OF THE SOVIET UNION
OF LENIN AND STALIN
Central Committee of the CPSU (b)
Resolution on the Policy of the Party in the Field of Literature.
July 1, 1925
As the class war in general has not ended, neither has it ended on the literary front. In a class society there is not, nor can there be a neutral art, the class nature of art generally and of literature in particular is expressed in forms which are infinitely more various than, for instance, in politics....
It must be remembered, however, that this problem is infinitely more complicated than other problems being solved by the proletariat. Even in the limitations of a capitalist society the working class could prepare itself for a victorious revolution, build cadres of fighters and leaders produce a magnificent ideological weapon for the political struggle. But it could work out neither the problems of natural science nor the tasks of technical development; and by the same token the proletariat, the class which was culturally deprived, was unable to develop its own literature, its own characteristic artistic forms, its own style. Although the proletariat has ready infallible criteria regarding the sociopolitical content of any literary work, it does not have such definite answers to all questions of artistic form....
With relation to the "fellow-travelers" we must bear in mind: (1) their differentiation, (2) the importance of many of them as qualified specialists of literary technique; and (3) the presence of vacillation in this group of writers. The general directive should be for tactful and careful relations with them, and for such an approach as will guarantee all the conditions for their earliest possible movement in the direction of Communist ideology. While discouraging antiproletarian and antirevolutionary elements (now quite insignificant), and while fighting to expose the ideology of the new bourgeoisie which is taking form among a part of the fellow-travelers-those of the "change-of-landmarks" stripe-the Party should have a patient attitude toward intermediate ideological formations, patiently aiding those inevitably numerous formations to develop in the process of ever closer comradely cooperation with the cultural forces of communism....
Communist criticism should fight mercilessly against counterrevolutionary phenomena in literature; and yet at the same time show the greatest tact, attention and patience toward all those groups which can and will join the proletariat. Communist criticism must drive out the tone of literary command. Such criticism can have deep educational significance only when it relies on its own ideological superiority. Marxist criticism should once and for all drive out of its midst all pretentious, half-literate, and self-satisfied Communist conceit. Marxist criticism should have as its slogan to learn," and should resist every appearance of cheap judgment and ignorant arrogance in its own milieu.
While it has infallible criteria of judgment regarding the class content of literary tendencies, the Party as a whole must not bind itself to any one tendency in the field of literary form. Giving general leadership to literature, the Party cannot support any one faction in literature (classifying these factions according to their different views on form and style), just as it cannot by resolutions settle questions of the form of the family, though in general it does and should lead in the development of new ways of life. Everything indicates that a style proper to the epoch will be created, but it will be created by different methods, and the solution of this problem has not yet been begun. In the present phase of cultural development any attempt to bind the Party in this direction must be repulsed.
Therefore the Party should declare itself in favor of the free competition of various groups and tendencies in this province. Any other solution of the problem would be an official, bureaucratic pseudo-solution. In the same way it is inadmissible to legalize by a decree the monopoly of the literary printing business by any one group or literary organization. While morally and materially supporting proletarian and proletarian-peasant literature, and aiding the fellow-travelers, the Party cannot offer a monopoly to any of these groups, even the one most proletarian in its ideology. For this would be to destroy proletarian literature itself
Central Committee of the All-Union Communist Party (Bolsheviks)
Decree on the Reconstruction of Literary and Artistic Organizations
April 23, 1932
The Central Committee states that over recent years literature and art have made considerable advances, both quantitative and qualitative, on the basis of the significant progress of Socialist construction.
A few years ago the influence of alien elements, especially those revived by the first years of NEP,' was still apparent and marked. At this time, when the cadres of proletarian literature were still weak, the Party helped in every possible way to create and consolidate special proletarian organs in the field of literature and art in order to maintain the position of proletarian writers and art workers.
At the present time the cadres of proletarian literature and art have managed to expand, new writers and artists have come forward from the factories, plants, and collective farms, but the confines of the existing proletarian literature and art organizations (VOAPP, RAPP, RATIM,' etc.) are becoming too narrow and are hampering the serious development of artistic creation. This factor creates a danger: these organizations might change from being an instrument for the maximum mobilization of Soviet writers and artists for the tasks of Socialist construction to being an instrument for cultivating elitist withdrawal and loss of contact with the political tasks of the present and with the important groups of writers and artists who sympathize with Socialist construction.
Hence the need for the appropriate reconstruction of literary and artistic organizations and the extension of the basis of their activity.
Following from this, the Central Committee of the All-Union Communist Party (Bolsheviks) decrees:
1. Liquidation of the Association of Proletarian Writers (VOAPP, RAPP).
2. Integration of all writers who support the platform of the Soviet government and who aspire to participate in Socialist construction in a single union of Soviet writers with a Communist faction therein.
3. Execution of analogous changes with regard to the other arts.
4. Charging of the Organizational Bureau with working out practical measures for the fulfillment of this resolution.
Speech delivered in August 1934
First Congress of Soviet Writers. Moscow.
August 20, 1946
August 21, 1946
Nikolai Ostrovsky :
"Man's dearest possession is life. It is given to him but once, and he must live it so as to feel no torturing regrets for wasted years, never know the burning shame of a mean and petty past; so live that, dying he might say: all my life, all my strength were given to the finest cause in all the world- the fight for the Liberation of Mankind."
ON LITERATURE OF THE SOVIET UNION OF LENIN AND STALIN