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8 of October 2013, 19:30 - 21:00
Pushkin House, 5a Bloomsbury Square, London, WC1A 2TA

A Talk by Petr Druzhinin, author of 'Ideology and Philology. Leningrad in 1940s'

Language: In Russian

In recent months Petr Druzhinin’s book has become a subject of heated discussions in the Russian media. What has caused this sudden interest in a scholarly work? Evidently, the Russian public understands that the history of the 1940s is relevant to current developments in the country.
The book is based on previously unpublished documents - from secret communist party circulars to memoirs of Professor Olga Freidenberg, Boris Pasternak’s cousin – which help us to understand more about the suppression of the intelligentsia carried out during these years.

Discussing the official “struggle for Russian patriotism” in the final years of the Second World War, Andrey Zhdanov’s speech against Anna Akhmatova and Mikhail Zoschenko in 1946, the struggle against “rootless cosmopolitism” and “cringing to all things foreign” in 1949, and executions related to the “Leningrad case” in 1950, Petr Druzhinin traces the development of Soviet isolationism, with its demand that Soviet scholars should sever all ties with their western colleagues.
Druzhinin will speak about the mechanisms of suppression of most original scholars, ranging from dismissing them from the University to arresting and killing them, and dwell on the fates of famous Leningrad scholars who became victims of political repressions – Mark Azadovsky, Grigory Gukovsky, Victor Zhirmunsky and Boris Eichenbaum. He will also examine the methods of creating a new class of Soviet “scholars” whose primary task was to prove the world significance of everything Russian.

Petr Druzhinin (b 1974) has a PhD in History from RussianStateUniversity for Humanities, Moscow (2009). He is an expert in rare books & manuscripts in Russia. His works include: “Unknown letters of Russian writers of the 18th century”, Moscow, 2002, “Gennady’s collection of Russian engravings portraits”, Moscow, 2004,“Books of Frederick the Great”, Moscow, 2004,“Library of Professor Makogonenko” (with A. Sobolev), Moscow, 2006, “Cavaliers of Russian Imperial orders before 1797”, ed., Moscow, 2006, “General armorial of the Russian nobility”, ed., Moscow, 2009 He is currently a Visiting Research Fellow in the Department of Russian and Slavonic Studies at the University of Sheffield and his research project «Codex Sinaiticus voyage from Soviet Russia to United Kingdom» is about the history of selling the famous manuscript of the Bible (4C AD) from Leningrad Public Library to British Library in 1933. “Ideology and Phililogy” was published in 2012 by the leading Russian publisher in humanitarian field, “The New Literary Observer” and became “The NLO” ‘s thousandth publication.
General entry: £7 each
Concessions: £5 each