Samizdat ( _ru. самиздат) was the clandestine copying and distribution of government-suppressed literature or other media in
Soviet-bloccountries. Copies were made a few at a time, and those who received a copy would be expected to make more copies. This was often done by handwriting or typing.
grassrootspractice to evade officially imposed censorshipwas fraught with danger as harsh punishments were meted out to people caught possessing or copying censored materials. Vladimir Bukovskydefined it as follows: "I myself create it, edit it, censor it, publish it, distribute it, and [may] get imprisoned for it." [ru icon "Самиздат: сам сочиняю, сам редактирую, сам цензурирую, сам издаю, сам распространяю, сам и отсиживаю за него." (autobiographical novel "И возвращается ветер...", "And the Wind returns..." NY, Хроника, 1978, p.126) Also online at [http://www.vehi.net/samizdat/bukovsky.html] ]
Essentially, the samizdat copies of text, such as
Mikhail Bulgakov's novel " The Master and Margarita" or Václav Havel's writing " The Power of the Powerless", were passed among friends. The techniques to reproduce the forbidden literature and periodicals varied from making several copies of the content using carbon paper, either by hand or on a typewriter, to printing the books on semi-professional printing presses in larger quantities. Before glasnost, the practice was dangerous, because copy machines, printing presses and even typewriters in offices were under control of the First Departments (KGB outposts): for all of them reference printouts were stored for identificationpurposes.
Terminology and related concepts
Etymologically, the word "samizdat" is made out of "sam" ( _ru. сам, "self, by oneself") and "izdat" ( _ru. издат, shortened _ru. издательство, "izdatel'stvo", "publishing house"), thus, "self published".
The term was coined as a
punby Russian poet Nikolai Glazkovin the 1940s, who typed copies of his poems indicating "Samsebyaizdat" (Самсебяиздат, "Myself by Myself Publishers") on the front page[ [http://www.krugosvet.ru/articles/110/1011035/1011035a1.htm Samizdat] , an article by Pavel Shekhtman in the " Krugosvet" encyclopedia] in an analogy with the names of Soviet official publishing houses, such as "Politizdat" (short for "Politicheskoe izdatel'stvo", _ru. Политиздат [Full title: "Государственное издательство политической литературы", State Publishing House of Political Literature] ), "Detizdat" ( _ru. Детиздат, literature for children), etc. Magnitizdatrefers to the passing on of taped sound recordings ("magnit-" referring to magnetic tape), often of "underground" music groups, bards or lectures.
Tamizdat refers to literature published abroad (там, tam, meaning "there"), often from smuggled manuscripts.
In the history of the
Polish underground press, the usual term in the later years of Communism was drugi obieg or "second circulation" (of publications), the "first circulation" implied being legal and censored publications. The term bibuła ("blotting-paper") is older, having been used even in Tsarist times.
. Vilnius, 1992]
At the outset of the
Khrushchev Thawin the mid-1950s USSR, poetrybecame very popular and writings of a wide variety of known, prohibited, repressed, as well as young and unknown poets circulated among Soviet intelligentsia.
June 29 1958, a monument to Vladimir Mayakovskywas opened in the center of Moscow. The official ceremony ended with impromptu public poetry readings. The Moscovites liked the atmosphere of relatively free speechso much that the readings became regular and came to be known as "Mayak" ( _ru. Маяк, the lighthouse), with students being a majority of participants. However, it did not last long as the authorities began clamping down on the meetings. In the summer of 1961, several meeting regulars (among them Eduard Kuznetsov) were arrested and charged with " anti-Sovietagitation and propaganda" (Article 70 of the RSFSR Penal Code). Editor and publisher of Moscow samizdat magazine "Синтаксис" ("Syntaxis") Alexander Ginzburgwas arrested in 1960.
Some legitimate publications in the state-controlled media, such as a novel "
One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich" by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn(who won the Nobel Prize in Literature, 1970), first published in literary magazine " Novy Mir" in November 1962, were practically impossible to find in (and later taken out from) circulation and made their way into samizdat.
Not everything published in samizdat had political overtones. In 1963,
Joseph Brodsky(to become a Nobel laureate in 1987) was charged with "social parasitism" and convicted for being nothing but a poet. In the mid-1960s, an underground literary group СМОГ ("Самое Молодое Общество Гениев", Samoye Molodoye Obshchestvo Geniyev, translated as "The Youngest Society of Geniuses") issued their literary almanac"Сфинксы" (Sfinksy; "The Sphinxes") and collections of prose and poetry. Some of their writings were close to Russian avantgardeof the 1910s–1920s.
The infamous 1965
show trialof writers Yuli Danieland Andrei Sinyavsky(also charged with violating Article 70) and increased repressions marked the demise of the Thaw and harsher times for samizdat. The trial was carefully documented in "The White Book" by Yuri Galanskovand Alexander Ginzburg. Both writers were later arrested and sentenced to prison in what was known as The Trial of the Four.Some of the samizdat content became more politicized and played an important role in the dissident movement in the Soviet Union.
From 1964 to 1970, historian
Roy Medvedevregularly published analytical materials that later appeared in the West under the title "Политический дневник" (Politicheskiy Dnevnik; "The Political Journal").
One of the longest-running and well-known samizdat publications was the information bulletin "Хроника текущих событий" (Khronika Tekushchikh Sobitiy; "Chronicle of Current Events") [ru icon [http://www.memo.ru/history/diss/chr/index.htm Chronicle of Current Events] Archive at memo.ru] , dedicated to the defense of
human rightsin the USSR. For 15 years from 1968 to 1983, a total of 63 issues were published. The anonymous authors encouraged the readers to utilize the same distribution channels in order to send feedback and local information to be published in the subsequent issues. The "Chronicle" was known for its dry concise style; its regular rubrics were titled "Arrests, Searches, Interrogations", "Out of Court Repressions", "In Prisons and Camps", "News of Samizdat", "Persecution of Religion", "Persecution of Crimean Tatars", "Repressions in Ukraine", " Lithuanian Events", etc. The authors maintained that according to the Soviet Constitution, the "Chronicle" was not an illegal publication, but the long list of people arrested in relation to it included Natalya Gorbanevskaya, Yuri Shikhanovich, Pyotr Yakir, Victor Krasin, Sergei Kovalev, Alexander Lavut, Tatyana Velikanova, among others.
Another notable and long-running (about 20 issues in the period of 1972-1980) publication was refusenik political and literary magazine "Евреи в СССР" (Yevrei v SSSR, "Jews in the USSR"), founded and edited by
Alexander Voroneland after his release, by Mark Azbeland Alexander Luntz.
With increased proliferation of computer technologies, it became practically impossible for the government to control the copying and distribution of samizdat.
Similar phenomena in other countries
Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeiniwas exiled by the Shah of Iranin 1964, his sermons were smuggled into Iran on cassette tapes and widely copied, increasing his popularity and leading, in part, to the Iranian Revolution. Polandhas a long history of underground press.
Bell Labschanged its UNIXlicense to make dissemination of the source code illegal, the Lions Book had to be withdrawn, but the technical data it contained was of such enormous value that illegal copies of it circulated for years. The act of copying the Lions book was often referred to as Samizdat. See Lions' Commentary on UNIX 6th Edition, with Source Codefor more information.
Freedom of speech
Freedom of the press
* [http://psi.ece.jhu.edu/~kaplan/IRUSS/BUK/GBARC/pdfs/dis70/ct119-71.pdf December 1970 report by KGB regarding "alarming political tendencies"in Samizdat] and [http://psi.ece.jhu.edu/~kaplan/IRUSS/BUK/GBARC/pdfs/dis70/ct2-71.pdf Preventive measures] (from the [http://psi.ece.jhu.edu/~kaplan/IRUSS/BUK/GBARC/buk.html Soviet Archives] collected by
* [http://www.geocities.com/Bolonkin1/p62.htm Alexander Bolonkin - Memoirs of Soviet Political Prisoner] detailing some technology used
* [http://antology.igrunov.ru/ Anthology of samizdat]
* [http://www.vehi.net/samizdat/index.html Samizdat archive] Вѣхи (Vekhi Library, in Russian)
* [http://www.cs.ucl.ac.uk/staff/M.Rogers/inside-samizdat.html Julius Telesin - Inside "Samizdat"] , published in "Encounter" 40(2), pages 25-33, February 1973
* [http://www.othervoices.org/1.2/skuepper/samizdat.html Präprintium. A Berlin Exhibition of Moscow Samizdat Books] , Stephen Küpper, published in "Other Voices", v.1 n.2 1998.
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Samizdat — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Samizdat (en ruso самиздат y en ucraniano самвидав, transliterado samvidav) fue la copia y distribución clandestina de literatura prohibida por el régimen soviético y, por extensión, también por los gobiernos… … Wikipedia Español
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Samizdat — (auto publicado, en ruso самиздат) era una práctica en tiempos de la Unión Soviética destinada a evitar la censura impuesta por los gobiernos de los partidos comunistas en los paises del Bloque oriental. Mediante esta práctica, individuos y… … Enciclopedia Universal
samizdat — illegal and clandestine copying and sharing of literature, 1967, from Rus. samizdat, lit. self publishing, from sam self + izdatel stvo publishing, probably a word play on Gosizdat, the former state publishing house of the U.S.S.R. One who took… … Etymology dictionary
samizdat — sȁmizdat m DEFINICIJA 1. pov. privatno legalno ili tajno izdavanje ili izdanje knjiga i drugih pisanih tekstova koji nisu odgovarali službenoj politici u SSSR u (ob. iz disidentskih krugova) 2. žarg. (ob. pejor.) a. način izdavanja djela (autor… … Hrvatski jezični portal
samizdat — [säm΄iz dät′] n. [Russ, lit., self published < samo , self (for IE base see SAME) + izdat , to publish < iz , from, out of + dat , to give (see DACHA)] 1. a system by which manuscripts denied official publication in the Soviet Union were… … English World dictionary
Samizdat — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Samizdat (homonymie). Publications clandestines polonaises des années 1980 Le samizdat (en russe : самиздат) était un système clandestin … Wikipédia en Français
samizdat — /sah miz daht /; Russ. /seuh myiz daht /, n. 1. a clandestine publishing system within the Soviet Union, by which forbidden or unpublishable literature was reproduced and circulated privately. 2. a work or periodical circulated by this system.… … Universalium
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