CHAPTER II

THE LITERARY "FELLOW-TRAVELERS" OF THE
REVOLUTION

TRANSITIONAL ART--A NEW SOVIET POPULISM.--KLIUEV, A REVOLU-
TIONARY "FELLOW-TRAVELER".--YESSENIN AND THE IMAGISTS.--
THE UNFORMED REALISM OF THE "SERAPION FRATERNITY".--THE
RETROGRESSIONAL REALISM OF PILNYAK.--RUSTIC OR PEASANT-
SINGING POETS.--THE "CHANGING LANDMARKS" GROUP.--NEO-
CLASSICISM OR "REVOLUTIONARY CONSERVATISM".

NON-REVOLUTIONARY or non-October literature, as we characterized it in the first chapter, is now in reality a past stage. At first, the writers placed themselves in active opposition to October, denying all artistic recognition to everything connected with the Revolution, just as the teachers refused to teach the children of revolutionary Russia. The non-October character of literature, therefore, not only expressed the deep alienation that lay between the two worlds, but it became also a tool for active politics, the sabotage of the artist. This policy annihilated itself; the old literature is now not so much unwilling, as unable.

Between bourgeois art, which is wasting away either in repetitions or in silences, and the new art which is as yet unborn, there is being created a transitional art which is more or less organically connected with the Revolution, but which is not at the same time the art of the Revo-

-56-

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