novel: The Russian Novel

The Russian Novel

After 1917 Russian Revolution, much of the country's literature reflected Marxist ideology. Maxim Gorky was the leading exponent of social realism. In 1933, Ivan Bunin became the first Russian to be awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. The novel in the Soviet Union either avoided offending the Communist party or, by reflecting a dissenting outlook, avoided publication in the USSR. Mikhail Sholokhov's epic series about the Don Cossacks, including And Quiet Flows the Don (1934), met the first qualification; Boris Pasternak's Dr. Zhivago (1957), about life in Russia from 1903 to 1929, and Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn's Cancer Ward (1968) and First Circle (1968), both realistic, powerful accounts of life under Stalin's regime, met the second and were published outside the Soviet Union.

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