Friday, 31 March 2023 to Sunday, 2 April 2023

Memory and fact: Revolution in Marc Aldanov’s novels and essays

Fri31  Mar04:15pm(20 mins)
Senate Room


Katya Rogatchevskaia1
1 British Library, UK


A chemist by training, Aldanov had a short career in politics at the time of the Russian Revolution and established himself as a writer and journalist already in emigration. Historical, philosophical and political analysis of revolution continued to be the focus of his works for several decades. His first cycle was devoted to the French Revolution (1921-1927) and his Russian Revolution trilogy was completed between 1932 and 1936, almost twenty years after Bolsheviks took power. In the 1930s, Aldanov also published a large number of essays where he developed his views of revolution in general and the Russian Revolution in particular. It is well documented that Aldanov did in-depth historical research for all his works in libraries and ‘on the ground’. The paper will look into Aldanov’s use of historical sources and his views on memory and facts. As Aldanov continued writing on the Russian Revolution over many years, his own views and memories were changing. At the same time, by publishing his novels and essays in the most prominent periodicals, such as the journal Sovremennye Zapiski and the newspaper Poslednie Novosti, he participated in a wider debate on the revolution held by Russian emigres. This paper will also discuss his role in this debate and creating an emigre narrative about the Russian Revolution.