Samizdat Literature Criticism: Voices Of Samizdat - Essay

Michael Nicholson (essay date 1973)

(Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Nicholson, Michael. “Solzhenitsyn and Samizdat.” In Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn: Critical Essays and Documentary Materials, edited by John B. Dunlop, Richard Haugh, and Alexis Klimoff, pp. 63-93. Belmont, Mass.: Nordland Publishing Company, 1973.

[In the following essay, Nicholson points out that Solzhenitsyn's participation in the culture of the opposition, or samizdat, in Russia was conscious and deliberate, but that the author also made a distinction between a writer's obligation as an artist and as a creator who has a responsibility to defend the free expression of political beliefs.]

In September 1967 Solzhenitsyn appeared before the Secretariat of...

(The entire section is 11873 words.)

Sándor Radnóti (essay date spring 1986)

(Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Radnóti, Sándor. “The First Hungarian Samizdat Poetry Collection.” Formations 3, no. 1 (spring 1986): 147-52.

[In the following essay, Radnóti outlines the evolution of Hungarian poet György Petri from a writer of official state publications to one of the samizdat, not because Petri was interested in making a political statement, but because he opposed artistic interference by the state of even the slightest detail.]

Many years ago, when Yevgeny Yevtushenko was in Budapest and, as it happened, he wanted to meet young Hungarian intellectuals, his interpreter brought him around. “Zhenia” did some clowning; he had a fool's cap with him and proceeded to...

(The entire section is 2817 words.)

George Konrád (essay date 28 February 1987)

(Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Konrád, George. “A Dissident's Notes: ‘Informing on Ourselves’.” Nation 244, no. 8 (28 February 1987): 237, 254-56.

[In the following essay, excerpted from a manuscript sent by Konrád to the Nation, and translated by an anonymous translator, the author reflects on the role of the artist in European and American history and society.]

The 1956 Hungarian revolution was very likely the most significant event in my life because in it I acted according to my own nature, along with others. I did not participate as a person subject to discrimination but as a recent Hungarian university graduate. The fact that I am Jewish was not altogether...

(The entire section is 2004 words.)