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The Enigma of Isaac BabelBiography, History, Context$
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Gregory Freidin

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780804759038

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804759038.001.0001

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Writers at the Front

Writers at the Front

Language of State in the Civil War Narratives of Isaac Babel and Dmitrii Furmanov

(p.100) 5 Writers at the Front
The Enigma of Isaac Babel

Michaels Gorham

Stanford University Press

This chapter offers a historical context for understanding Babel—the struggle for the authoritative postrevolutionary language of state, which ultimately came to dominate public discourse in Russia. The juxtaposition of Babel's Red Cavalry and Furmanov's Chapaev goes a long way toward explaining Babel's “silence” in the 1930s, when the “Furmanov model”—a paired language of command adopted by the top-down ideological party state—came to dominate the print media as well as the officially sanctioned Soviet letters.

Keywords:   Isaac Babel, postrevolutionary language, Red Cavalry, Chapaev, Furmanov model, ideological party state

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