socialist realism



  • The approved theory and practice of visual and literary compositionin the Soviet Union from the 1930s onwards. Its aim was to educatethe Soviet workers in Marxist doctrine through simple naturalisticworks. Although the application of the theory produced some interestingresults in the early years, the style later degenerated into idealisticrepresentations of the heroic successes of the Soviet economy andsociety, which are almost totally devoid of merit.

    The playwright and commissar for education, Anatoli Lunacharsky(1875 - 1933), was an early advocate of using the theater as aninstrument of propaganda. Such experimental directors as VsevolodMeyerhold and Alexander Tairov fell out of favour, theirwork being declared too abstract to forward the socialist dream. Twoleading playwrights who worked within the tenets of socialist realismwere Maxim Gorki (1868 - 1936) and Vladimir Mayakovsky(1893 - 1930).