The Effects of Russian and Soviet Censorship on the Practice of Stanislavsky's System

Authored by: Sharon Marie Carnicke

The Routledge Companion to Stanislavsky

Print publication date:  October  2013
Online publication date:  October  2013

Print ISBN: 9780415535649
eBook ISBN: 9780203112304
Adobe ISBN: 9781136281853


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State censorship has doggedly framed most of Russia's history since the eighteenth century, when Catherine the Great (1762–96) established an official agency to police the press. Since then, mistrustful tsars, commissars, and presidents have persistently limited the freedom of Russian writers and artists more or less stringently, with periods of crackdown alternating with brief intervals of relaxed regulations. Tsar Alexander II (1865–81) complained that, when it came to writers, “one cannot rely on a single one” (Choldin 1984: 3); Premier Joseph Stalin (1878–1953) held artists to the strict tenets of socialist realism, which became the only legally sanctioned style for Soviet art in 1934; and, in line with President Vladimir Putin's continuing erosion of the press, Russia's parliament approved the imposition of Internet censorship in July 2012 (Alpert 2012).

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