Klavdia Smola

Articles by Klavdia Smola

(Re)shaping Literary Canon in the Soviet Indigenous North

The native peoples of the Eurasian North—the Evenks, Nanai, Khanty, Nenets, Chukchi, Koryak or Eskimos—became objects of assimilation, extermination, and the creation of a written culture from scratch in the early Soviet era. Their small numbers and remoteness from the cultural metropolises, in addition to their still strong ties to ancestral traditions, make their literary production a particularly controversial example of modernization and (post)colonial dependencies in the former Soviet Union. Lacking a pre-Soviet written literary tradition, these “young” literatures were born as a symbiosis of folklore, local beliefs, syncretic Indigenous-Christian customs, and the surrogate literary tradition of the Russian center: the Soviet “master plot.”

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