For many years, we knew next to nothing about the private lives of ordinary Soviet citizens during Stalin’s reign. Until very recently, the social history of the Soviet Union written by Soviet and Western historians alike was limited entirely to the public sphere – politics and ideology, and the collective experience of the ‘Soviet masses’. The individual (insofar as he or she appeared at all) featured mainly as a letter-writer to the Soviet authorities (that is, as a public actor rather than a private person or member of a family).
It was only from the end of the 1980s that the practice of oral history – politically impossible in the earlier Soviet period – began to develop in Russia. Public organizations like Memorial, established in the late 1980s to represent the victims of repression and record their history, took the lead, collecting testimonies from survivors...
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Book of literary essays in which Otroshenko explores mysteries and inexplicable circumstances which surrounded the birth of the greatest masterpieces of world literature and philosophy, and lives of their creators: writers, poets and philosophers of different époques (Ovid, Catullus, Fyodor Tyutchev, Alexander Pushkin, Vladislav Khodasevich, Nikolay Gogol, Andrei Platonov, Friedrich Nietzsche, Arthur Schopenhauer, and others.