Soviet Writers Congress 1934


The Debate on Socialist Realism and Modernism

Speech: delivered in August 1934;
Source: Gorky, Radek, Bukharin, Zhdanov and others “Soviet Writers’ Congress 1934”, page 271-290, Lawrence & Wishart, 1977;
Online Version: Marxists Internet Archive ( 2004;
Transcribed by: Jose Braz for the Marxists Internet Archive.

1. Resolution on the Report of Maxim Gorky, the co-Reports of S. Y. Marshak and the Report on the Literature of the National Republics

(Adopted at the Morning Session on August 23, 1934)

Having heard and discussed the report of Maxim Gorky on Soviet literature, the reports on the literatures of the Ukrainian S.S.R, the White Russian. S.S.R., the Georgian S.S.R, the Armenian S.S.R, the Azerbaijan S.S.R, the Tajik S.S.R., the Turkmenian S.S.R, the Uzbek S.S.R and the Tatar Autonomous S.S.R, and the co-report on children’s literature, the First All-Union Congress of Soviet Writers places on record that, as a result of the victorious building of socialism and the ’rout of the class enemies of the proletariat and toilers of the U.S.S.R, the Soviet literature of the peoples of the Soviet Union has grown into a mighty force for socialist culture and for the education of the toiling masses in the spirit of socialism. Under the leadership of the heroic Communist Party of the Soviet Union, with Comrade Stalin at its head, and thanks to the Party’s daily help, the writers of all peoples of the U.S.S.R. have come to their first congress as a collective body, which, in its ideas, organization and creative work, has rallied around the Party and the Soviet power into a single union of Soviet writers.

The Congress approves the work of the Organizational Committee, which has realized the unification of Soviet writers into the Union of Soviet Writers and carried out the preparations for their first Congress.

The Congress notes the outstanding part taken in this work by the great proletarian writer, Maxim Gorky. Taking into consideration the reports and the exchange of opinions at the Congress, the Congress instructs the guiding organs of the Union of Soviet Writers to lose no time in devising measures for aiding Soviet writers in their creative work, for helping young writers and strengthening the tie between the writers and the toiling masses, so that the whole activity of the Union of Soviet Writers may secure a further growth of creative work in all spheres of Soviet literature and the creation of works of high quality, infused with the spirit of socialism.

2. Resolution on the Report of Karl Radek on International Literature

(Adopted at the Morning Session of August 26, 1934)

Having heard the report of Comrade Radek on international literature and the exchange of ideas following this report, the First All-Union Congress of Soviet Writers places on record that, despite the cruel repressions that are meted out to the working class and toiling intelligentsia of foreign countries by the ruling capitalist class; despite the orgy of fascism and bloody reaction; despite the fact that a number of the best representatives of revolutionary literature are incarcerated in fascist jails and are being subjected to direct physical destruction, the forces of revolutionary literature are growing just as are the forces of the working class, and its militant voice resounds ever more loudly, rousing the oppressed masses to struggle against capitalist slavery.

The Congress of Soviet Writers calls upon its brothers, the revolutionary writers of the whole world, to fight with all the force of the writer’s pen against capitalist oppression, fascist barbarism, colonial slavery, against the preparations for new imperialist wars, in defense of the U .S.S.R. - the fatherland of toiling humanity. From the time when a small group of writers, headed’ by Gorky, followed the Party of Lenin, down to the present period - when, as a rest of the victory - of socialism in the U.S.S.R., Soviet literature has turned into a tremendous cultural force, has become a literature of all peoples, a literature which expresses the great work of the toiling masses of the Soviet Union in creating a new, socialist system-our writers have traversed a glorious path. Their example is convincing the best representatives of literature abroad that literature and art cannot really flourish except where socialism is victorious.

A tremendous growth of culture and creation is going on among the masses of the people in the Soviet Union. In the countries of capitalism there is economic chaos, the decline of culture and science, the decay of the literature of the ruling classes. And genuine works of art are being created only by those masters of language who raise their voices in protest against the ulcers of capitalism, against the crying contradictions of capitalist society.

The First Congress of Soviet Writers warmly greets the writers who have come to attend the Congress from France, England, the U.S.A., China, Germany, Turkey, Czechoslovakia, Spain, Norway, Denmark, Greece and Holland, who have responded to the invitation to visit the U.S.S.R. and taken a most active part in the work of the Congress.

The Congress highly appreciates the sympathies for the U.S.S.R. and for socialist construction, for the new culture being created by the peoples of the U.S.S.R., manifested by the following foreign writers who have spoken at the Congress: Comrades Martin Andersen Nexö, André Malraux, Jean-Richard Bloch, Yakub Kadri, Willi Bredel, Theodor Plivier, Hu Lan-chi, Louis Aragon, Johannes Becher, Annabel Williams Ellis. The Congress sends fraternal greetings to Romain Rolland, André Gide, Henri Barbusse, Bernard Shaw, Theodore Dreiser, Upton Sinclair, Heinrich Mann and Li Sing, who are courageously fulfilling their noble duty as the best friends of toiling humanity.

The Congress of Writers expresses its profound solidarity with the revolutionary writers who are held prisoner by international reaction, who are defending the cause of the toiling masses, the cause of the progress of mankind, and promises to fight with all its’ might for their release.

The Congress is firmly convinced that the future belongs to international revolutionary literature, for it is linked up with the struggle of the working class for the liberation of all mankind.