Reflection of Historical Science in Soviet Literature during the Perestroika: The Novel “Apofegey” by yu.M. Polyakov

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Abstract. The article examines  the novel “Apofegey”, written by yu.M. Polyakov in 1989. The article shows representation of the community of Russian historians in the Soviet literature of the “Perestroika”. The main focus is on the phenomenon of censorship and self-censorship, as well as their influence on life and professional careers of historians. The Polyakov’s novel shows the control of party bodies over the historical research in the 1970s–980s. But this control was not total, it left a possibility for creation of scientific texts deviating from the ideological requirements. Self-censorship in the novel is shown as the main manifestation of control over the scientific community. That is, a historian manifested his loyalty to the communist regime by reproducing ideological clichés in his texts, and consciously refused to write anything contradictory to him. The payment for the loyalty of a historian according to the novel was access to scarce goods. Another mention is the traumatic experience of Stalin’s repression. At the same time, historians expel their colleagues from the scientific community and the profession, who do not want to demonstrate political loyalty (Pechernikova). And the most loyal can expect to continue their careers in the institutions of the Communist Party in the Soviet Union (Chistyakov). In general, a reader is led to the conclusion that the Soviet historical science has become a branch of the ideological and propaganda apparatus of the Communist Party.

Keywords: Soviet literature, yuri Mikhailovich Polyakov, “Perestroika“ in the USSR, the era of “stagnation“ in the USSR, historiographical source, historical science, censorship, selfcensorship, official state ideology, political party, loyalty, representation.

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