Satire in Soviet Russia

Matlock, J. F.; Jr.
February 1956
New Republic;2/6/56, Vol. 134 Issue 6, p17
The article presents information about Russian authors like Mikhail Zoshchenko, Ilya Ilf and Eugene Petrov, whose condemnation as satirists, furnished powerful object lessons to would-be satirists. Zoshdienko, once Russia's most popular humorist, created a genre of the light, amusing anecdote based on the petty frustrations of everyday life. In twenties and early thirties Ilf and Petrov wrote two very funny books about an amiable rogue leading a gang of assorted crooks over Russia in search of easy money. Zoshchenko was condemned in 1946 and not allowed to publish a single satirical tale from then until after dictator Joseph Stalin's death. Neither Ilf nor Petrov survived the war, but a 1948 reprint of one of their novels brought a storm of abuse and severe reprimands for the publishers.


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