The Strugatsky Brothers

The Strugatsky Brothers. Image URL:
The Strugatsky Brothers.
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The Strugatsky Brothers were an author duo which rose to fame during the 1960’s as science fiction writers.  Their books initially were lauding the way of Soviet thought, they later very quietly spoke of the downfalls of Soviet society.  For example, Noon: 22nd Century, published in 1962, praised the science that was commonly attributed to the way of Soviet thought.  However, by 1972, with the publication of Roadside Picnic, they had shifted to social criticism.  The book spoke of a strange Canadian land in which a strange artifact was f0und, but no one bothered to check and see where it

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came from.  This sense of apathy and acceptance was critical of the Soviet intrepidity and sense of duty.  They became hugely popular in the Soviet Union, which made public officials uneasy, especially with the continued publication of works that were critical of Soviet society (Source Essay “Strugatsky Brothers” by James von Geldern).  In fact, one author even believes that the Strugatsky brothers were espousing a kind of “people’s capitalism,” which was certainly a major change from the communist/socialist society they lived in at the time (Federovich 20).

I find it interesting just how influential literature can be in society, especially during times of revolution and change.  Since Stalin was long dead, the Strugatsky brothers were free to write what they wished, with very little fear of “disappearing.”  Public officials could do little but sit and hope that the public did not try to revolt and establish the aforementioned “people’s capitalism” in the government.  This is not the only time that literature has influenced society, however.  Thousands of anti-British leaflets were printed in the years preceding the American Revolutionary War, the adventures and life of a slave in “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” brought many of the unknown horrors of slavery to light in the time around the American Civil War.  I find it interesting to see how literature has influenced society in other countries as well, instead of always focusing on the United States.

Information Sources:

Fedorovich, M.  “NOT ONLY ENTERTAINING READING.” The Current Digest of the Russian Press, No. 6, Vol. 18, March 02, 1966, page 20.  Minneapolis, USA.  Accessed 2 November 2014.

Source Essay “Strugatsky Brothers” by James von Geldern