An Ecology of the Russian Avant-Garde Picturebook
An Ecology of the Russian Avant-Garde Picturebook takes a new approach to interpreting 1920s and 1930s picturebooks by prominent Russian writers, artists, and intellectuals by examining them within the ecological environment that, first, made them possible and, then, led to their demise. It argues that naturalistic models of the complex interactions of dynamic systems offer effective tools for understanding the fraught interrelations of art and censorship in the early Soviet period. Through illustrative case studies, it mounts a close analysis of word and image and their synergistic interplay in avant-garde picturebooks, while also recontextualizing them within the ecology of their original environment where extraordinary countervailing forces played out a drama of which these books survive as telling artifacts. Ultimately, it argues that the Russian avant-garde picturebook offers a uniquely illustrative example of literary ecology that sheds light on issues of creativity and censorship, politics and art, more broadly as well.
[Children’s Literature, Culture, and Cognition, 9] 2018. xiv, 236 pp.
Publishing status: Available
© John Benjamins Publishing Company
Table of Contents
Table of figures
Introduction: A natural history of the Russian avant-garde picturebook
Part I. Ex nihilo nihil fit
Chapter 1. Precursors of the avant-garde picturebook
Chapter 2. Origins of the revolutionary picturebook
Chapter 3. Aesthetic renewal from the primitivist periphery
Part II. Unnatural selection
Chapter 4. Dual audience and double vision: Aesopian depths and hidden subtexts
Chapter 5. The unspoken and the unspeakable: Political allegory in children’s books
Chapter 6. Revolutionary rhetoric and the semiotics of size
Part III. Adaptations
Chapter 7. Early Soviet images of America in picturebooks
Chapter 8. The infantilization of thought and theory in books for children
Chapter 9. Authorial appearances in picturebooks
Chapter 10. Metatextual exploits in writings for children
Part IV. A question of survival
Chapter 11. The obliteration of the avant-garde aesthetic: The beginning of the end
Chapter 12. The extinction of the Russian avant-garde picturebook
“Weld’s study reaffirms the uniqueness of its characteristics in the history of children’s literature and highlights the historical and cultural complexities of the literary evolution in post-revolutionary Russia.”
Larissa Rudova, Pomona College, in The Lion and the Unicorn, Vol. 43, No. 1, January 2019
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Cited by other publications
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Art & Art History
Literature & Literary Studies
BIC Subject: DSB – Literary studies: general
BISAC Subject: LIT009000 – LITERARY CRITICISM / Children's & Young Adult Literature