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Key words
uncensored folklore, Soviet folklore, rumors, collectivization, eschatology
About the Author
E-mail: Tel.: +7 (495) 250-69-31
6, Miusskaya sq., Moscow, 125993, Russian Federation PhD (Philology),
researcher, Russian State University for the Humanities

There in the USSR many social, political and economic transformations took place in the 1920s, and Soviet citizens were forced to comprehend it. The lack of offi  cial information about the situation oft en contributed to the activation of unoffi  cial public communication. The article deals with rumors about collectivization, which refl ected reaction of the Soviet state population to the social and economic reforms of the late 1920s and the 1930s. The main source is formed by information reports of the Joint state political directorate (OGPU) about political moods, supplemented by press data (exemplifi ed in the atheist magazine “Bezbozhnik”), letters to offi  cials, individual memoirs. Mediated and fragmentary nature of the folklore data contained by these written documents makes it very diffi  cult to conduct an overall textual analysis of such forms, but it remains possible to isolate semantic “shivers” of the source texts in the form of separate motifs. In the texts on collectivization identifi ed by the author, mythological patterns of the “good tsar” and the “golden age” are actualized, the signs of the coming end of the world, the divine punishment for sins, etc. are listed as applied to the events of the 1920s-1930s. Rumors and conversations about collectivization illustrate uncensored folkloric reaction to eventual realities. In the situation of total socio-political changes in the early Soviet era it was one of the ways to comprehend and correlate these innovations with the traditional picture of the world. An important role in the construction of explanatory schemes that did not contradict the collective experience played the ready-made folklore-mythological models fi lled with actual details (names, events).


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