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Samizdat copies of three political satirical poems of the Perestroika period
Soviet Union, 1989. Four leaves of original and carbon copy typescript to rectos, measuring ca. 28.5 × 20.5 cm each. Old creases; text on one leaf reenforced with pencil; about very good. A group of satirical political poetry in samizdat form, published and distributed surreptitiously during the early 1980s and the Perestroika years. Citing stylistic elements of Russian medieval folklore, these texts take aim at the political faults of Leonid Brezhnev and Mikhail Gorbachev. Two of the poems are variations on popular satirical rhymes that began to circulate around 1986, "The Last Judgment" ("Strashnyi sud") and "Lenya Brezhnev, open your eyes" ("Lenia Brezhnev otkroi glaza"). With obscene language and multiple references to Soviet popular culture and Russian-American relations, they capture the frustrations of ordinary citizens with food shortages and fear of nuclear catastrophe: "Lenya Brezhnev, open your eyes, / we have no meat nor sausages, / no vodka and no wine, / nothing but radiation all around." One text imagines Gorbachev being judged by Lenin and Stalin after his death. In the other, full of obscene Russian slang, Gorbachev attempts to secure peace by offering Reagan the famous Soviet pop stars Alla Pugacheva and Sofia Rotaru - as well as his own wive, Raisa, if he can manage the task quickly. The third text is an apparently unrecorded fable entitled, "The lion, the bear, and the sheep" ("Lev, medved' i barany"), which criticizes Brezhnev's senility and Gorbachev's political aspirations around 1984-1985 in a more allegorical vein. A highly interesting group of expressive political folklore from the Perestroika era, which is increasingly attracting the attention of researchers. See, for instance, the recent anthology, Russkii politicheskii fol'klor (Russian Political Folklore, ed. A. Panchenko, 2013), which also includes numerous variants of these texts.
      [Bookseller: Penka Rare Books, ILAB]
Last Found On: 2017-12-01           Check availability:      Biblio    


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