[KS] The Frederick Starr Collection photos
hoffmann at koreaweb.ws
Tue Dec 28 15:52:31 EST 2010
Dear Ross, and All:
I take the freedom to divert the topic of this tread a little. There
is a point that I am very curious about.
Ross King wrote:
>> Certainly not, assuming that one still counts Russia as
>> belonging to the 'western world' (...)
In preparation of a text I recently read the speeches (as far as they
have been translated) given at the 1934 Soviet Writers'
Congress--because that's were "socialist realism" was masterminded
I'd be very interested in responses to my below observation/theses.
The below is from my notes ... about the East/West + locality issue,
the self-defined non-West designation, which then opens the doors to
legitimize just really everything (revolution away from Marxist
predictions/conditions, human rights abuses, etc.). I would argue
(well, nothing really new) that this is an important model for other
non-Wester revolutions and dictatorships also, may it be Cuba or the
authoritarian regime in South Korea under Park Chung Hee.
Maxim Gorky, in his speech about "Soviet Literature," delivered at
the 1934 Soviet Writers' Congress defined the essence of Socialist
Gorky continues to attack the early modernist movement, refers
especially to the period 1907 to 1917 in his native Russia, which he
refers to as a period of "complete 'freedom of creation'" (p. 48).
His main argument is that this was only the freedom of the "Western
bourgeoisie," and without really getting it down further, he
indicates that this freedom was not for the good of the proletarian
masses. It is important to note that he talks about "bourgeois
society" of "the West." The West, that is Western Europe, in Gorky's
definition. According to Gorky the West has "lost the capacity for
invention in art" (p. 44) because of its social degeneration. But
Gorky misses to provide any direct linking to colonialism,
capitalism, or fascism--does not clarify or define any further what
exactly this social degeneration is that he talks about.
In addition it is highly interesting that Gorky did this with clear
reference to a Russian locality and the Russian intelligencia. This
Russian locality he is establishing here is clearly separated from
"the West," is in an alternative locality, an outside-of-the-West
locality, that has in the past referenced and imported the cultural
ills of "the West" (thus his reference and criticism of the 1907 to
1917 period), but in sum it is an alternative locality that is
distinctively different from the West--geographically, culturally,
More information about the Koreanstudies