The Olden Days – The Russian poet’s visit

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  • Published 20080902
  • ISBN: 9780733322839
  • Extent: 296 pp
  • Paperback (234 x 153mm)

The story of the Russian poet’s visit to Brisbane began with a dinner invitation from Kevin Windle, general editor and chief translator of the contemporary Russian writing series I was working on during the dark days of the Bjelke-Petersen era. As well as the Russian translations, I was editing a wide range of other works for an unassuming university press in a low, brick building attached to a bookshop at the University of Queensland.

One of the first things I’d learned from Kevin was that Soviet-approved literary works had to resonate with ‘socialist realism’ – as opposed to ‘formalist individualism’ and art for art’s sake ‘bourgeois modernism’. The safest subject for writers, Kevin said, was the ‘Great Patriotic War’ in which the Russians lost at least twenty million, and which we now refer to by its alternative but equally weighty title of World War II.

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About the author

Craig Munro

Craig Munro, former publishing manager at UQP, is the author of the award-winning biography Wild Man of Letters: The Story of P.R. Stephensen (1984) and a...

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