Reading in Ukrainian: The Working Class and Mass Literature in early Soviet Ukraine

Palko, Olena. (2019) Reading in Ukrainian: The Working Class and Mass Literature in early Soviet Ukraine. Social history, 44 (3). pp. 343-368.

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This article examines the working-class audience in Soviet Ukraine and the changes in its reading appetites during the 1920s. Under the Soviet nationalities policy of korenizatsiia introduced in 1923, the print-runs of Ukrainian-language literary products increased significantly. Nonetheless, as this article argues, those numerous publications often did not reach Ukrainian readers and if they did, they could hardly satisfy the interest appetites of an ever-growing Ukrainian audience. As the book reviews collected in the second half of the 1920s showed, the worker readers were interested in a certain type of literature - entertaining, easy to comprehend, dealing with contemporary issues and characters - that was not yet available in Ukrainian. Nevertheless, once that literature began to emerge in the late 1920s, the interest in contemporary books in Ukrainian increased. By examining every aspect of reading in Ukrainian - production, dissemination and consumption of the printed word - this article highlights the decisive role of Soviet readership in determining future official Soviet Ukrainian literature. The case of Soviet Ukraine emphasizes regional specifics and introduces an important language component to the Bolshevik reading revolution of the 1920s to early 1930s, largely ignored in the scholarship.
Faculties and Departments:04 Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > Departement Geschichte
UniBasel Contributors:Palko, Olena
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
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Last Modified:15 Feb 2023 14:15
Deposited On:15 Feb 2023 14:15

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