The stagnation
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The Stagnation ( Застой). 1964-1985. Leonid Il ’ ich Brezhnev 1906 – 10 Nov. 1982. 14 October 1964 elected First Secretary of CPSU (from April 1966 General Secretary) Represents the conservative wing of the Party Grows defence budget. Repression of dissent at home.

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The Stagnation ( Застой)

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The stagnation

The Stagnation(Застой)

1964-1985


Leonid il ich brezhnev 1906 10 nov 1982

Leonid Il’ich Brezhnev 1906 – 10 Nov. 1982

14 October 1964 elected First Secretary of CPSU (from April 1966 General Secretary)

Represents the conservative wing of the Party

Grows defence budget


Repression of dissent at home

Repression of dissent at home

  • Solzhenitsyn persecuted, unable to publish

  • 1964 trial of poet Joseph Brodsky

  • February 1966 Trial of writers Yury Daniel and Andrei Siniavsky

    – 7 years for “anti-Soviet propaganda”.


The prague spring

The Prague Spring

  • 1968 Alexander Dubcek becomes head of Party in Czechoslovakia

  • Announces “Socialism with a Human Face” - reform, multiparty elections

  • 20 August 1968 Invasion of Czechoslovakia by Warsaw Pact countries


Brezhnev doctrine

“Brezhnev Doctrine”

"When forces that are hostile to socialism try to

turn the development of some socialist country

towards capitalism, it becomes not only a

problem of the country concerned, but a common

problem and concern of all socialist countries.”

(Appeared first in an article in Pravda, then pronounced in Brezhnev’s speech to Polish United Workers’ Party, 13 November 1968)


Semi liberal culture policies within limits

Semi-liberal culture policies… within limits


Expelled

Expelled:

Joseph Brodsky, poet(1972)


Expelled1

Expelled:

Alexander

Solzhenitsyn,

writer (1974)


Defected

Defected…

Mstislav

Rostropovich, Cellist

(1974)


Defected1

Defected…

Mikhail Baryshnikov (1974)


D tente

“Détente”

  • May 1972 Nixon visitsMoscow. Signs SALT I.

  • Nixon gives Brezhnev a Lincoln Continental

  • 1974 Jackson-Vanik Amendment opens up emigration for persecuted groups (mainly Jews).

  • 1975 Helsinki Final Act – recognizes borders in Europe, respect for human rights


Stalinism with a human face

“Stalinism with a Human Face”

  • No reform of the “command-administrative” system: all planned from centre.

  • Decline in economic growth, technological gap

  • Main funding went to arms (15% of GDP)

  • Dependence on oil exports


The lada b 1970

The Lada (Жигули, b. 1970)


The good old times

The good old times…

  • Secure but drab life-style: “Sovok”

  • Standing in line for everything

  • Waiting for an apartment

  • Decline in health standards

  • alcoholism


The bards

The Bards

Poetry as subversion


Authorial song

“Authorial Song”

  • Late-Soviet Russian genre of poetry sung to a guitar

  • Tolerated to a limited degree by authorities

  • Circulated in tape recordings of private performances

  • Equivalents in GDR (Wolf Biermann), Poland (Jacek Kaczmarski)

  • Cf. in France Jacques Brel, Canada’s Félix Leclerc. US Bob Dylan, Pete Seeger, Joan Baez


Aleksandr galich 1918 1977

Aleksandr Galich (1918-1977)

  • Well-known screen play writer.

  • began sing his poetry to the accompaniment of the guitar in the 1960s

  • 1974 Forced to leave Russia, worked for Radio-Liberty in Paris

  • 1977 died in adomestic accident


Aleksandr galich 1918 19771

Aleksandr Galich (1918-1977)

  • Poem “Silence is Golden” about how you need to be silent to get ahead

  • Poem on death of Boris Pasternak about how he was lucky to die in his bed, not shot or worked to death in a camp

  • Poem “Kaddish” tells story of Jewish doctor Korczak and his orphanage in Warsaw ghetto


Bulat okudzhava 1924 1997

Bulat Okudzhava (1924-1997)

  • Screen-writer, poet

  • Dozens of popular songs

  • Especially popular in Poland

  • Not political, some songs written for movies

  • Statue stands on Arbat – pedestrian street in Moscow


Okudzhava defined his age

Okudzhava defined his age…


Vladimir vysotsky 1938 1980 mocked and raged against it

Vladimir Vysotsky (1938-1980) mocked and raged against it…

  • Actor at the Taganka Theatre in Moscow

  • Movie actor

  • Singer of his own poetry

  • Married French film star Marina Vlady

  • Alcoholism led to early death

  • Funeral caused spontaneous demonstration during 1980 Olympics


I don t like it vladimir vysotsky

I don’t like it (Vladimir Vysotsky)

I don’t like a fatal conclusion; I never get tired of life. I don’t like any season of the year when I get sick or drink.

I don’t like cold cynicism, I don’t believe in lofty enthusiasm, or when a stranger reads my letters, looking over my shoulder.

I don’t like it when things are done by halves, or when a conversation is interrupted. I don’t like it when they shoot you in the back; I am also against shooting in the face.

I hate gossip that pretends to be true, I hate the worms of doubt, the needle of honours, or when people rub you against the grain, or when they scrape steel against glass.

I don’t like smug assurance; it’s better if the brakes fail. It bugs me when the word “honour” is forgotten, and when they honour you and slander you behind your back.

When I see broken wings I don’t feel pity, and for good reason. I don’t like violence or powerlessness; I’m simply sorry to see Christ crucified.

I don’t like myself, when I’m a coward, and I can’t stand it, when they beat the innocent. I don’t like it when people poke around in my soul, or even less when they spit in it.

I don’t like stadiums and arenas — where a million is turned into a rouble. Let there be great changes ahead — I will never like that!


My capricious horses

My capricious horses

On a rugged cliff, the very edge, above the endless chasmI keep lashing at my horses with my whip clenched in a spasmBut the air is growing thinner, I am gasping, drowning, cryingI can sense with horrid wonder, I am vanishing, I'm dyingRefrain:

Slow your gallop, oh my horses! Slow your gallop I say!Don't you listen to my stinging whip!But the horses I was given, stubborn and so unforgiving,Can't complete the life I'm living, can’t conclude the verse I'm singing


The wolf hunt

The Wolf Hunt

In my flight, sinews bursting, I hurtle,

But as yesterday - so now today,

They've cornered me! Driven me, encircled,

Towards the huntsmen that wait for their prey!

From the fir-trees the rifle-shots quicken –

In the shadows the huntsmen lie low.

As they fire, the wolves somersault, stricken,

Living targets brought down on the snow.

They're hunting wolves! The hunt is on, pursuing

The wily predators, the she-wolf and her brood.

The beaters shout, the dogs bay, almost spewing.

The flags on the snow are red, as red as the blood.

In the fight heavy odds have opposed us,

But the merciless huntsmen keep ranks.

With the flags on their ropes they've enclosed us.

They take aim and they fire at point blank.

For a wolf cannot break with tradition.

With milk sucked from the she-wolfs dugs

The blind cubs learn the stern prohibition

Never, never to cross the red flags!

They're hunting wolves! The hunt is on, pursuing

The wily predators, the she-wolf and her brood.

The beaters shout, the dogs bay, almost spewing.

The flags on the snow are red, as red as the blood.

We are swift and our jaws are rapacious.

Why then, chief, like a tribe that's oppressed,

Must we rush towards the weapons that face us

And that precept be never transgressed?

For a wolf cannot change the old story

The end looms and my time's, almost done.

Now the huntsman who's made me his quarry

Gives a smile as he raises his gun

.

They're hunting wolves! The hunt is on, pursuing

The wily predators, the she-wolf and her brood.

The beaters shout, the dogs bay, almost spewing.

The flags on the snow are red, as red as the blood.

But revolt and the life-force are stronger

Than the fear that the red flags instil

From behind come dismayed cries of anger

As I cheat them, with joy, of their kill.

In my flight, sinews bursting I hurtle,

But the outcome is different today!

I was cornered! They trapped me encircled!

But the huntsmen were foiled of their prey!

They're hunting wolves! The hunt is on, pursuing

The wily predators, the she-wolf and her brood.

The beaters shout, the dogs bay, almost spewing.

The flags on the snow are red, as red as the blood.

http://www.kulichki.com/vv/eng/songs/


Some more songs by vysotsky

Some more songs by Vysotsky

  • Он не вернулся из боя

    (He didn’t return from the battle)

  • В сон мне жёлтые огни

    (I dreamt about yellow lights)

  • Очи чёрные погоня

    (Dark eyes)


Vysotsky today

Vysotsky today

  • Still the number one cult figure in Russiatoday

  • New film: Vysotsky. Thanks for being alive.


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