УДК / UDK: 82-3

2023 №29

Author: Sergei I. Panov
About the author:

Sergey I. Panov — PhD, Senior researcher, A.M. Gorky Institute of World Literature of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Povarskaya 25 a, 121069 Moscow, Russia.


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The article examines early Soviet criticism of Johannes R. Becher’s works in the context of Soviet reception of German Expressionism in the 1920s. A.V. Lunacharsky and P.S. Kogan were mainly positive in their assessments of this literary movement of the 1910s, emphasizing its revolutionary intentions, typical for Expressionists’ works and social position (anti-bourgeois activism, closeness to the working class and the Communist Party). On the contrary, critics that stuck to the program of the magazine “Na literaturnom postu” and associated with the Communist Academy tended to reject Expressionism as a decadent phenomenon of bourgeois culture. They decisively separated Becher from this literary movement. The article also dwells on the Expressionist studies conducted by the research team of the State Academy of Artistic Sciences (GAKhN); in 1926 its president P. Kogan presented his research paper “Johannes Becher. (A page from the history of German Expressionism)” which is published for the first time in the addendum.

Acknowledgements: The research was carried out at A.M. Gorky Institute of World Literature of the Russian Academy of Sciences with financial support of the Russian Science Foundation, grant no. 23-18-00393 “Russia / USSR and the West Viewing Each Other: Literature in the Context of Culture and Politics in 20th Century” (

Keywords: Expressionism, German poetry, Soviet literary criticism, Soviet reception of European literature, State Academy of Artistic Sciences (GAKhN), J.R. Becher, P.S. Kogan, A.V. Lunachharsky.
For citation:

Panov, S.I. “On the Reception of German Expressionism in the USSR: Unpublished Article by P. Kogan about Johannes Becher.” Literaturnyi fakt, no. 3 (29), 2023, pp. 323 –352. (In Russ.)


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