Russian Literature: 1953-Present


Aleksandr Iakovlevich Yashin (Александр Яковлевич Яшин)pseudonym of Aleksandr Popov (Попов)

Brief biography and English translation of the poem "Lyrical Discomfort.

Russian text of "Levers": "Рычаги"

More of Yashin's works in Russian.

Reading guide:

Is there anything in this short story that violates the tenets of Socialist Realism?

Near the end of the story the characters are eager to hear what is going to be said at the Twentieth Party Congress.  How do the thematics of "Levers" tie in with the "Secret speech" delivered by Nikita Khrushchev at the congress?

Which characters do you find to be the most and least interesting as you read this story?

What are some of the issues raised by the story's characters?  Which of these problems were distinctly Soviet and which were more universal?