Classification – name: Literary studies
Pages: 204-217
Publisher: A.M. Gorky Institute of World Literature of the Russian Academy of Sciences (IWL RAS Publ.)
Rights – description: Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 (СС BY-ND)
Rights – URL:
Language of the publication: Russian
Type of document: Research Article
Collection: Russian Literature and Journalism in the Pre-revolutionary Era: Forms of Interaction and Methodology of Analysis
Year of publication: 2021
Place of publication: Moscow


Author: Konstantin A. Barsht
Konstantin A. Barsht.Literary and Aesthetic Views of V.P. Burenin and the Artistic Principles of Proletkult

About the author:

Konstantin A. Barsht, DSc in Philology, Leading Research Fellow, Institute of Russian Literature (Pushkin House) of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Makarova Emb., 4, 199034 St. Petersburg, Russia.


The study puts forward the hypothesis that the literary and aesthetic principles of “cynical realism” promoted by V. P. Burenin in 1860–80 meet the requirements that were put forward in relation to fiction by the figures of the Proletkult (1918–1922). In this regard, a comparative analysis of a number of provisions underlying the two aesthetic doctrines is carried out, with a conclusion concerning the similarity of their basic provisions and their parallelism in building requirements for literature and journalism, which should not only be thematically devoted exclusively to practical human activity, but also actually be an integral part of it. The idea of “impudent realism”, put forward by Burenin in 1860s which sounded like a call was implemented on a practical level in the writings of such figures of the Proletkult as B. Arvatov, V. Pletnev, A. Bogdanov, etc.

Keywords: V.P. Burenin, Proletkult, cynical realism, mass literature, aesthetics of labor.