CHAPTER VII

COMMUNIST POLICY TOWARD ART

REVOLUTIONARY ART NOT PRODUCED BY WORKERS ALONE.--LEISURE AND
POLITICAL INDIFFERENCE OF THE INTELLIGENTSIA AS FACTORS IN
CREATIVE ART.--THE FUNCTIONS OF THE COMMUNIST PARTY IN
RELATION TO ART.--SOCIAL CATACLYSM AND THE CONTINUITY OF
ART AND CULTURE.

THERE are Marxists in literature who have taken an arrogant attitude toward Futurists, the "Serapion Fraternity", Imagists and all the fellow-travelers in general, together or separately. That is why it has become quite the thing to run down Pilnyak and the Futurists have become quite adept at this. It is unquestionably true that Pilnyak is irritating because of some of his peculiarities. He is too light in great questions; he shows off too much and his mortar is too full of lyricism. But Pilnyak has shown the Revolution from the angle of the peasant in the provinces splendidly, and he has shown us the cattle-car--thanks to Pilnyak all these stand before us immeasurably clearer and more tangible than ever before. And how about Vsevolod Ivanov? Have we not discovered Russia and felt its vastness, its ethnographic variety, its backwardness and its sweep better after reading his "Guerilla-fighters", "The Armored Train", "The Blue Sands", in spite of all their sins in construction, their unevenness of style, and even their oleographics? Does anyone really think that this Imagist knowledge can be replaced with Futurist hyperboles or with the monotonous singing of syllables or with jour-

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