Politics and the Novel during the Cold War

Politics and the Novel during the Cold War

by David Caute


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David Cautes wide-ranging study examines how outstanding novelists of the Cold War era conveyed the major issues of contemporary politics and history. In the United States and Western Europe the political novel flourished in the 1930s and 1940s, the crisis years of economic depression, fascism, the Spanish Civil War, the consolidation of Stalinism, and the Second World War.

Starting with the high hopes generated by the Spanish Civil War, Caute then explores the god that failed pessimism that overtook the Western political novel in the 1940s. The writers under scrutiny include Hemingway, Dos Passos, Orwell, Koestler, Malraux, Serge, Greene, de Beauvoir, and Sartre. Strikingly different approaches to the burning issues of the time are found among orthodox Soviet novelists such as Sholokhov, Fadeyev, Kochetov, and Pavlenko. Soviet official culture continued to choke on modernism, formalism, satire, and allegory.

In Russia and Eastern Europe dissident novelists offered contesting voices as they engaged in the fraught re-telling of life under Stalinism. The emergence of the New Left in the 1960s generated a new wave of fiction challenging Americas global stance. Mailer, Doctorow, and Coover brought fresh literary sensibilities to bear on such iconic events as the 1967 siege of the Pentagon and the execution of the Rosenbergs.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781412862905
Publisher: Transaction Publishers
Publication date: 07/30/2016
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 412
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.84(d)

About the Author

David Caute is a former Fellow of All Souls College, Oxford, and Henry Fellow at Harvard. A visiting professor at Columbia, NYU and University of California, Irvine, his most recent work is The Dancer Defects: The Struggle for Cultural Supremacy During the Cold War.

Table of Contents


Part 1: The Spanish Civil War

1. Commentary: The Spanish Labyrinth
2. Malraux: Days of Hope
3. Hemingway: For Whom the Bell Tolls
4. Dos Passos: Betrayal
5. Orwell: Homage to Catalonia
6. Koestler: Sentence of Death

Part 2: The God That Failed

7. Commentary: The Soviet Trials
8. Beyond Darkness at Noon
9. Serge: The Case of Comrade Tulayev
10. Orwell: From Big Pig to Big Brother
11. Commentary: Totalitarianism, Ideology, Power
12. Sartre: History, Fiction and the Party
13. Commentary: Soviet Forced Labour Camps
14. Koestler: and the Little Flirts
15. Commentary: Fellow-Travellers
16. Greene: The Quiet American

Part 3: History and Fiction in the Soviet Orbit

17. Commentary: The Socialist Realist Novel from War to Cold War
18. The Tragic Case of Vasily Grossman
19. Commentary: Collectivization
20. Pasternak: Doctor Zhivago
21. Chukovskaya: Honour among Women
22. Commentary: Purge and Terror
23. The Iron Fist: The Trial of Daniel and Sinyavsky
24. Foreign Affairs: The Menace of Kafka
25. Germany Doubly Divided: Christa Wolf and Uwe Johnson

Part 4: Solzhenitsyn

26. One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich
27. The First Circle
28. Commentary: Stalin and Lenin in Soviet Fiction
29. From Cancer Ward to The Gulag Archipelago
30. Commentary: Bureaucracy, the New Class and Double Standards
31. Vladimov: Faithful Ruslan

Part 5: The American Novel and the New Politics

32. Commentary: Fiction, the New Journalism, and the Postmodern
33. Mailer: The Armies of the Night
34. Fiction and the Rosenbergs: E.L. Doctorow and Robert Coover


References and Notes


Name Index

Subject Index

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