Tag Archive for Russia

Dirty Words

In 1929, Joseph Stalin read a story and didn’t like it. He put down Andrei Platonov’s short story “Doubting Makar” and declared it an “ambiguous work.” It wasn’t a compliment. Ambiguity in literature is dangerous–any lack of clarity in art opens up opportunities for interpretation, and thus criticism. While the state press churned out more heroic accounts of Soviet projects, Platonov’s story languished in the drawer.