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From civic choice to civic voice: the way to dissidence of the Russian poet Alexander Galich

Lidia Rura (UGent)
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Abstract
From civic choice to civic voice: the way to dissidence of the Russian poet Alexander Galich Lidia Rura, Ghent University College, Belgium. Becoming a dissident writer has never been a simple choice because it automatically resulted in persecution and severing the contact with the broad audience that is quite essential for an author. In the Russian literary landscape of the communist era circumstances driving someone to dissidence varied from personal situation like with Alexander Solzhenitsyn and family history in case of Bulat Okudzhava to pure principles and a well-considered civic choice like with Alexander Galich. This paper analyzes the reasons that drove a successful film producer and script writer to exchange his comfortable life for a dangerous existence of a dissident just because he decided to use his voice to cry out the pain of the oppressed millions. This step to dissidence, made for no obvious reason, enraged the regime and caused much misunderstanding among Galich's entourage. The topic was extremely important to Galich, who he tried to explain his actions in many ways, which is confirmed by the fact that the issue arises in every third poem he wrote. In order to try and understand author’s civic choice several sources are treated in this paper. First of all, poems by Galich, in which he approaches the issue, which comprise the poems (i) pertaining to his own situation, (ii) those mentioning historical dissident figures, whose example served as an inspiration, (iii) those containing examples of fellow writers and (iv) those, where a matter of civic choice is a part of the general issues such as conscience and moral principles. Since a poet does not speak directly in his work but addresses the reader through a narrator, more non-literary material of biographical and autobiographical nature is analyzed too. The objective of the paper is to (i) explore the author’s motivation, (ii) to give a hind-sight evaluation of the made step and (iii) analyze its historical impact.
Keywords
Galich, Soviet dissidents, translated poetry, civic choice

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Chicago
Rura, Lidia. 2010. “From Civic Choice to Civic Voice: The Way to Dissidence of the Russian Poet Alexander Galich.” In Conference Proceedings (Hawaii International Conference on Arts and Humanities), 651–669. Hawaï, HI, USA: Honolulu, HI : Hawaii International Conference on Arts and Humanities.
APA
Rura, L. (2010). From civic choice to civic voice: the way to dissidence of the Russian poet Alexander Galich. Conference proceedings (Hawaii international conference on arts and humanities) (pp. 651–669). Presented at the 8th Annual Hawaii International Conference on Arts and Humanities 2010, Hawaï, HI, USA: Honolulu, HI : Hawaii International Conference on Arts and Humanities.
Vancouver
1.
Rura L. From civic choice to civic voice: the way to dissidence of the Russian poet Alexander Galich. Conference proceedings (Hawaii international conference on arts and humanities). Hawaï, HI, USA: Honolulu, HI : Hawaii International Conference on Arts and Humanities; 2010. p. 651–69.
MLA
Rura, Lidia. “From Civic Choice to Civic Voice: The Way to Dissidence of the Russian Poet Alexander Galich.” Conference Proceedings (Hawaii International Conference on Arts and Humanities). Hawaï, HI, USA: Honolulu, HI : Hawaii International Conference on Arts and Humanities, 2010. 651–669. Print.
@inproceedings{1170915,
  abstract     = {From civic choice to civic voice: the way to dissidence of the Russian poet Alexander Galich Lidia Rura, Ghent University College, Belgium. Becoming a dissident writer has never been a simple choice because it automatically resulted in persecution and severing the contact with the broad audience that is quite essential for an author. In  the Russian literary landscape of the communist era circumstances driving someone to dissidence varied from personal situation like with Alexander Solzhenitsyn and family history in case of Bulat Okudzhava to pure principles and a well-considered civic choice like with Alexander Galich. This paper analyzes the reasons that drove a successful film producer and script writer to exchange his comfortable life for a dangerous existence of a dissident just because he decided to use his voice to cry out the pain of the oppressed millions. This step to dissidence, made for no obvious reason, enraged the regime and caused much misunderstanding among Galich's entourage. The topic was extremely important to Galich, who he tried to explain his actions in many ways, which is confirmed by the fact that the issue arises in every third poem he wrote. In order to try and understand author{\textquoteright}s civic choice several sources are treated in this paper. First of all, poems by Galich, in which he approaches the issue, which comprise the poems (i) pertaining to his own situation, (ii) those mentioning historical dissident figures, whose example served as an inspiration, (iii) those containing examples of fellow writers and (iv) those, where a matter of civic choice is a part of the general issues such as conscience and moral principles. Since a poet does not speak directly in his work but addresses the reader through a narrator, more non-literary material of biographical and autobiographical nature is analyzed too. The objective of the paper is to (i) explore the author{\textquoteright}s motivation, (ii) to give a hind-sight evaluation of the made step and (iii) analyze its historical impact.},
  author       = {Rura, Lidia},
  booktitle    = {Conference proceedings (Hawaii international conference on arts and humanities)},
  issn         = {1541-5899},
  keyword      = {Galich,Soviet dissidents,translated poetry,civic choice},
  language     = {eng},
  location     = {Hawa{\"i}, HI, USA},
  pages        = {651--669},
  publisher    = {Honolulu, HI : Hawaii International Conference on Arts and Humanities},
  title        = {From civic choice to civic voice: the way to dissidence of the Russian poet Alexander Galich},
  year         = {2010},
}