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Stalin, Putin And The Poets

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Chapter Summary

The propriety of a poet celebrating a tyrant seems to be a matter of relativity, and time the main coordinate. Poems to Hitler are effectively banned, and Odes to Stalin usually excluded from the collected works of Russian and Soviet poets, or apologized for and relegated to an appendix. The case of Stalin is complex: he fulfilled the roles of both Satan and fellow poets for those who chose, or were forced, to celebrate him in verse. Stalin loved personal contact with poets and prose writers. When we come to the Putin era, we appear to descend from tragedy to farce. However oppressive, Putin cannot close the country's borders or internet access. Also, he has no need for poets, when TV channels and daily newspapers work under his control. Like Stalin, Putin has to be shown as a lover, if not a writer, of poetry.

Keywords: poets; Putin; Stalin



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