Soviet Era Literature
After the Soviet Union was formed in 1922, books gradually began to be aligned with communist ideology. However, there were some Russian writers who persevered within the totalitarian state and managed to create art out of hardship.
The Bolshevik-led October Revolution of 1917 provided ideological justifications for restricting the flow of foreign ideas and analysis into the USSR. One of the first manifestations of this would be the creation of the Main Administration for Literary and Publishing Affairs, or Glavlit, aiming to purge Soviet society of all expressions regarded as destructive to the new order and suppressing political dissidence.
When Literature Came Under State Control
Characteristics of books that were considered “harmful” to the Soviet Union included failure to promote the worker’s class consciousness and willingness to work hard, religious propaganda, pro-tsarist ideas, opposition to revolutionary class struggle and promoting national hatred.
Writers were bound to the Marxist-Leninist cause via the stifling Union of Soviet Writers. Meanwhile, Goskomizdat (State Committee for Publishing Houses, Printing Plants, and the Book Trade), made all publishing decisions.