The humanities and social science

2021 Issue №3

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Writer Sergei Snegov and the politics of memory in the Kaliningrad region (1950―1970s)



On the basis of previously unexplored archival documents and materials of the regional press, the author considers the history of the creation of the “novel about Kaliningrad” by S. А. Snegova “Wind from the Ocean”, as well as the historical plots of the work. By analyzing the minutes of the meetings of the Kaliningrad branch of the Writers' Union, the editorial councils of the Kaliningrad book publishing house and reviews of writers on several versions of the manuscript, the mechanism of using fiction as a tool for the politics of memory is revealed. Comparison of several versions of the manuscript with each other, as well as with the published text of the work, made it possible to reconstruct the original concept of the novel and its changes in the course of editorial changes, comments and self-censorship over the course of eleven years. Having ordered the famous writer S. A. Snegova, a novel on contemporary topics, the regional publishing house and the leadership of the local writers' organization carefully monitored and adjusted the character of the author's presentation of the pre-war history of the city and the images of Soviet Kaliningrad. In the absence of an approved regional historical narrative and fears of making political mistakes, the oversight authorities forced the author to abandon several storylines devoted to the history of the edge. As a result, the work, originally conceived as a story about the fate of the city and its inhabitants in the past and present, turned into a production novel, traditional for Soviet literature, telling about the achievements and problems of ocean fishing and the daily life of Kaliningrad fishermen.