Oktyabr (magazine)

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Editor-in-chief Irina Barmetova
Categories Literary magazine
Frequency Monthly
Year founded 1924; 94 years ago (1924)
Country Soviet Union
Based in Moscow
Language Russian
ISSN 0132-0637
OCLC number 643669233

Oktyabr (meaning October in English) is a monthly Russian literary magazine, based in Moscow.[1] In addition to Novy Mir and Znamya the monthly is a leading and deep-rooted literary magazine in Russia.[2]


Oktyabr was launched in 1924 by a group with the same name, "Oktyabr", which was founded by the poet Alexander Bezymensky and the novelist Yury Libedinsky in 1922.[3] It was an official and conservative magazine of the Soviet Union.[4][5] Particularly during the post-World War II period it became one of the most pro-government publications and was instrumental in shaping the image of Soviet poetry.[6]

The editorial board of the magazine in the Soviet era included those figures recognized by the state.[6] The first chief editor was Labory Kalmanson who was also known as G. Lelevich.[3] Fyodor Ivanovich served as chief editor of the monthly for two times (from 1931 to 1954, and then from 1957 to 1961).[6] Vsevolod Kochetov was one of the magazine's chief editors in the 1960s.[7] In the same period, the monthly was a fierce critic of Nikita Khrushchev's reforms, adopting a Stalinist stance.[8] Anatoly Ananiev replaced Kochetov as chief editor of Oktyabr.[8] The current editor-in-chief is Irina Barmetova.[9]

The magazine awards the Oktyabr prize.[10] The 2013 winners were Andrey Bitov for the story "Something with love... ", director Leonid Heifetz for his article "Flashes" and poet Lev Kozlowski for a selection of verses "Sukhoy Bridge".[11]


Oktyabr has serialized various novels, published poems and other articles about movies and societal issues. Due to such a wide coverage, the magazine is compared to the 19th century edition of Edinburgh Review.[2] in the late 1970s, Anatoly Rybakov’s novel, Heavy Sands, was serialized in the monthly.[12] Life and Fate, a novel written by Vasily Grossman, was first published in the magazine in 1988.[1][4] This novel was one of the forbidden literary works in the country and therefore, the magazine became among the publications publishing previously forbidden books in the glasnost period.[8] In 2006, the magazine published Vasili Aksyonov's novel Moskva-kva-kva.[13] The monthly also published poems of significant and state-recognized poets in the Soviet era, forming the image of Soviet poetry, and works on literary criticism.[6]

In addition to literary works, in the 1960s the magazine covered articles on Soviet films, focusing on the merits of these movies.[7] Mikhail Antonov's a seminal essay, "So What Is Happening to Us?", was published in Oktyabr in 1989.[14]

In 1989, the magazine published a posthumous work, Forever Flowing, by Vasily Grossman,[15] arguing "Lenin - all victories of the party and the state are linked with the name of Lenin. But all cruelty committed in the country has become the tragic burden of Vladimir Ilych."[4] The article was written long before, but it was one of the first overt criticisms against Lenin.[4] Thus, it marked a serious challenge process towards the past of the country, especially Lenin's legacy.[15]


  1. ^ a b Bill Keller (28 January 1988). "Notes on the Soviet Union". The New York Times. Retrieved 4 October 2013.
  2. ^ a b Anna Aslanyan (8 April 2011). "Revolutions and resurrections: How has Russia's literature changed?". The Independent. Retrieved 4 October 2013.
  3. ^ a b Gleb Struve (1951). Soviet Russian Literature, 1917-50. Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press. Retrieved 4 October 2013. – via Questia (subscription required)
  4. ^ a b c d John-Thor Dahlburg (28 June 1989). "Magazine Prints Extraordinary Attack on Lenin". Associated Press. Moscow. Retrieved 4 October 2013.
  5. ^ Rosalind J. Marsh (1986). Soviet Fiction Since Stalin: Science, Politics and Literature. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 289. ISBN 978-0-389-20609-5.
  6. ^ a b c d Ekaterina Zamataeva (27 April 2013). "The Representation of Soviet Poetry in Postwar Decade in the Literary Journal "Oktyabr"" (PDF). Ellison Center. Archived from the original (PDF) on 4 October 2013. Retrieved 4 October 2013.
  7. ^ a b The Soviet Government and the Jews 1948-1967. CUP Archive. p. 113. GGKEY:025L2PAP9T5. Retrieved 4 October 2013.
  8. ^ a b c Yitzhak M Brudny (30 June 2009). Reinventing Russia: Russian Nationalism and the Soviet State, 1953-1991. Harvard University Press. p. 198. ISBN 978-0-674-02896-8.
  9. ^ Book Launch Party for Autobiography of a Corpse by Sigizmund Krzhizhanovsky Read Russia. 2013. Retrieved 31 December 2013.
  10. ^ "Read Russia events". Academica Rossica. Retrieved 4 October 2013.
  11. ^ The Oktyabr magazine the Writer Andrey Bitov will award Andrey Bitov and Leonid Heifetz Ru paper. 25 December 2013. Retrieved 31 December 2013.
  12. ^ Ilya Levin (October 1979). "Soviet Writing". Commentary Magazine. Retrieved 4 October 2013.
  13. ^ "Vasili Aksyonov". IMDb. Retrieved 4 October 2013.
  14. ^ Leon Aron (20 June 2011). "Everything you think you know about the collapse of the Soviet Union is wrong". American Enterprise Institute. Retrieved 4 October 2013.
  15. ^ a b Geoffrey A. Hosking (1991). The Awakening of the Soviet Union. Harvard University Press. p. 143. ISBN 978-0-674-05551-3.