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Concerning the Role of a Revolutionary Writer in a New Society: Waldo Frank at Writers' Congresses of 1935
Popova Victoria

Post-Graduate Student of the Department of the History of Foreign Literature at Lomonosov Moscow State University and the Department of the Romanic Languages at Russian Foreign Trade Academy

119991, Russia, g. Moscow, ul. Leninskie Gory, GSP, of. 1-i GUM


In her research Popova focuses on two speeches made by an American writer Waldo Frank (1889–1967) at the First Convention of the League of American Writers (held in New York, 1935) and International Congress for the Defense of Culture (held in Paris, 1935) during the period of intensive cooperation with the USSR. The author also analyzes views of Waldo Frank on the role of a writer in a new society. Popova studies sources from the funds of The Russian State Archive of Literature and Arts which allows to cover unpublished materials of the writers' congresses that hadn't been published in the USSR. The author applies the historical literary method that implies analysis of biographical and historical sources, and text analysis method to analyze different versions of Waldo Frank's speeches at the Congress for the Defense of Culture in Paris as well as different publications thereof in the Russian language and extracts from the texts of his speeches. The scientific novelty of the research is caused by the fact that Waldo Frank's creative writing and his relatons with the USSR are left practically understudied by the Russian literary studies. Analysis of Frank's relations with the Soviet Union allows to define the relationship between his literary interests and public position: strong cooperation with the USSR in 1930s coincided with Frank's active participation in the activity of American and European left and anti-fascist organizations. When he broke up his relations with the Soviet Union after 1937, his public activity declined, he withdrew from the USA Communist Party and left the League of American Writers. 

Keywords: writers' congress, Soviet-American literary contacts, archived documents, ideology and literature, League of American Writers, Waldo Frank, communism, USA, USSR, Sergey Dinamov



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