Black Sea Symposium, Bucharest
New Europe College
21-23 June 2013
Petru NEGURĂ: "Disseminating Moldovan Identity: Moldovan Writers and Their Audiences during Stalinism"
Despite its claiming to be a “folk” literature, Socialist realist literature in Soviet Moldova did not achieve mass literature status, at least not during Stalinism. With the backing of the State, the writers kept trying to reach a wider readership organizing to this end “meetings with the readers” and “literary evenings” at the workplace, in kolkhozes and factories. With little or no education at all, the so-called folk readership was not very responsive to the writers’ popularization campaign. Only starting with the first generations of elementary, secondary and vocational school graduates, – MASSR in the 1930s and, especially, MSSR throughout the 1950s –, one can speak of an active although small readership. This real readership also constitutes a pool of potential candidates for the literary institution engaged in an official campaign to “train cadres.” Hired most of the times as pedagogues, these young intellectuals, fresh graduates of normal and secondary schools, work both as mediators between Moldovan writers and their “folk” readership. Thus, far from constituting a mass readership, the first generation of readers sets the bases of mass literature through their own work in schools.