J. V. Stalin

To Comrade Bezymensky

Source: Works, Vol. 12, April 1929 - June 1930, p. 206
Publisher: Foreign Languages Publishing House, Moscow, 1954
Transcription/Markup: Brian Reid
Public Domain: Marxists Internet Archive (2008). You may freely copy, distribute, display and perform this work; as well as make derivative and commercial works. Please credit “Marxists Internet Archive” as your source.

Comrade Bezymensky,

I am somewhat late in replying.

I am not an expert on literature, and certainly not a critic. Nevertheless, since you insist, I can give you my personal opinion.

I have read both The Shot and A Day In Our Life. There is nothing “petty-bourgeois” or “anti-Party” in these works. Both, and especially The Shot, may, for our time, be considered models of revolutionary proletarian art.

True, they contain certain vestiges of Young Communist vanguardism. Reading these works, the unsophisticated reader might even get the impression that it is not the Party that corrects the mistakes of the youth, but the other way round. But this defect is not the main feature of these works, nor the message they convey. Their message lies in the concentration on the shortcomings of our apparatus and in their profound belief that these shortcomings can be corrected. That is the chief thing in both The Shot and A Day In Our Life. That is also their principal merit. And this merit more than compensates for and altogether overshadows what, it seems to me, are minor defects dating back to the past.

With communist greetings,
J. Stalin
March 19, 1930.