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582 10 2013 , 29 2014 . 785

University news
Lecture on 1917 Journalism
On March 28, 2017, in the main building of Saint Tikhons University, the historical Eparchy House in Moscow, Doctor of Philology Svetlana Krasovskaya delivered a lecture entitled Literary Works of Minor Genres in 1917 Periodicals: Unwitting Witnesses of History, in the context of the lecture series on the events of 1917.

In the overall scope of literary works, newspaper articles are regarded as a minor genre. Events and rumors that are conveyed in them make it possible to observe peoples dispositions, morals, and experiences. The articles and comments give a sense of the informational space that people inhabit, according to Svetlana Krasovskaya. It is in this role that journalistic works come to be unwitting witnesses of history, in other words, historical sources intended to give a sense of the current day for their contemporaries, rather than to create a historical document for subsequent generations.

 Newspapers were beautiful, the researcher explained, describing her impressions from working with hundred-year-old periodicals now kept in archives. The most popular editions were often the same as today: Moskovskie Vedomosti, Kommersant, Petrogradskie Vedomosti, Russkie Vedomosti, Pravda, Novoe Vremya, Novaya Zhizn, Iskra, Izvestiya, Russkoe Slovo.

The main impression that one gets from reading these newspapers is that Russian society had grown tired of the war and wished that it would end soon. Patriotic feelings were counterposed with bitterness and moral decay, which did not escape the attention of the press. A lot of commentary is directed towards entertainments such as theaters and concerts. These things were going on simultaneously the war and amusements and this irritated many people out at the front. Journalists rebuked their fellow citizens who were living in luxury in the capital cities and trying to get as much pleasure out of their wealth as they could. A ban on alcohol was introduced in connection with the war, but it continued to flow bountifully in restaurants despite a considerable rise in prices.

There is a lot in the periodicals dedicated to the Emperor, increasingly so the closer they get to the day of his abdication. In the newspapers, one can get a sense of the chronology of Nicholas IIs meetings, his movements about the country, his time at the front, and even stories of exposed plots to topple the monarchy. The political fable (basnya) was a popular genre at the time; in a wartime atmosphere, the Germans were the main object of such satirical pieces. Svetlana Igorevna Krasovskaya is a Doctor of Philology, Professor, and editor-in-chief for Russian language and literature at the publishing house Prosveschenie (Enlightenment). She has been working as a school and university-level teacher for over 20 years. She is the author of over 100 articles in teaching methods and literary criticism.

 INFORMATION
The lecture series on 1917 offers those in attendance an opportunity to relive this tragic year in Russian history, to reflect on the political and cultural events that occurred in it, and to learn about how the revolution featured in literature, music, art, and cinematography. The lectures will be taking place each week on Tuesdays in the main building of Saint Tikhons University (Likhov Lane). Attendance is free of charge.


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