ONE DAY IN THE LIFE OF IVAN DENISOVICH
Nobel Prize-winning author Alexander Solzhenitsyn follows a long tradition of Russian critical realists - a school which includes nineteenth-century Russians Tolstoy, Turgenev, and Goncharev. In fact, Solzhenitsyns style of writing and subject matter follows far more closely the tradition of those pre-Revolutionary Russians than the writers, men who wrote at least forty or fifty years before him, than those writers of the 1940s and 50s Soviet Union. In Stalins Soviet Union, the pervading mode of literature was that of socialist realism. Writers of that period were forced to be responsive to Party dictates - for literature that differed with the Party line was barred from publication and often not even made public through the process of samizdat, or self-publishing, for fear of retribution against the writer by the government. Therefore, the decades preceding the publication of Solzhenitsyns first short novel, One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, consisted primarily of socialist realist literature designed to serve as Communist propaganda, through optimistic and positive depictions of workers contentment on collective farms and in government factories.