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Brian Pearce

Modern Russian

Book Reviews

Soviet Prose. A Reader, edited by Ronald Hingley. Allen and Unwin, 12s. 6d.

From Labour Review, Vol. 5 No. 1, February-March 1960, pages 32-36.
Transcribed by Ted Crawford.
Marked up by D. Walters for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

Ronald Hingley, the man behind the BBC’s course of Russian lessons, has rendered a service to students by compiling and annotating this series of extracts from Soviet Russian writers. As he says in the introduction, many who have learnt to find their way through the 19th-century classics find themselves baffled when they attempt post-revolutionary prose, owing to ‘the extraordinarily wide vocabulary used by Soviet authors’ and ‘the frequency with which they employ popular, vulgar, slang and dialect forms or constructions’.

Writers whose work is represented and commented include Babel, Pilnyak, Sholokhov and Leonov. Two extracts, the content of which is particularly interesting, are those from Galina Nikolayeva (‘The Death of Stalin’) and Vladimir Dudintsev (‘An Inventor in Trouble’).

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Last updated: 4 October 2009