Anatoli Lunacharsky, poet of the revolution

Perhaps my favourite person in the Russian Revolution is Anatoli Lunarcharsky, known as the the ‘poet of the revolution’. Often more radical than Lenin, a sometime ‘God-Builder’ who wrote a two-volume work, Socialism and Religion, he was appointed the Commissar for Enlightenment in the new government. In his new program, Narkompros (Narodnyi Kommissariat Prosveschcheniya), he appointed all manner of poets, artists, writers, and the highest number of women in any of the major commissariats of the new state. A prolific writer of plays, essays and book-length works, he was widely regarded as the most educated and intelligent of all the education ministers in the world at the time. His work on Marxism, literature and art are still well worth a read, especially since they have largely been forgotten.

But why did Lenin appoint him and keep him on, despite all their differences? As Lenin put it to Viktor Shulgin:

I advise you also to be fond of him. He is drawn towards the future with his whole being. That is where there is such joy and laughter in him. And he is ready to give that joy and laughter to everyone.

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “Anatoli Lunacharsky, poet of the revolution

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.