Joe Stalin was an editor...and a literary critic. You don't usually think of him that way, but it makes sense when you do. Stalin revised everything from textbooks to treaties, from film scripts to death warrants. Uncle Joe, as we affectionately know him (har har) was also an art critic. He was, of course, also editor of Pravda for a bit.
He also edited history and he also edited people, if you know what I mean.
Stalin always, like almost all editors, just knew that he KNEW best...and he made it so.
Stalin the critic, Stalin the editor, Stalin the State Capitalist dictatorial S.O.B.
Stalin...who needs him.
I leave you with this little quote from Jack Kerouac:
If critics say your work stinks it's because they want it to
stink and they can make it stink by scaring you into
conformity with their comfortable little standards. Standards
so low that they can no longer be considered "dangerous" but
set in place in their compartmental understandings.
Thus Stalin, thus Stalinism.
Fortunately, Scission never needs editing....
The following for Scission's Cultural Monday is a serious article from the Chronicle of Higher Education. This could be satire, but it isn't.
The Tyrant as Editor
He was not quiet a moment. He toyed with his pipe ... or drew circles with a blue pencil around words indicating the main subjects for discussion, which he then crossed out with slanting lines as each part of the discussion was nearing an end, and he kept turning his head this way and that while he fidgeted in his seat.
The Soviet people
court's verdict—the verdict of the peopleannihilation of the Bukharin-Trotsky gang and passed on to next business.
The Soviet land was thus purged of a dangerous gang of heinous and insidious enemies of the people, whose monstrous villainies surpassed all of the darkest crimes and most vile treason of all times and all peoples.
These colossal achievements were attained ... thanks to the bold, revolutionary and wise policy of
Comrade Stalinthe Party and the Government.
They clap their extinguishers over the wittiest text, they smear their thick brushstrokes over the most charming drawing, all of these interventions are meant to be viewed as 'corrections.' ... But their critical pens never cease flowing, for they have lost the power over them and are being led by them rather than leading them. It is precisely in this excessiveness of their critical outpourings, in the lack of control over themselves, in what the Romans called impotentia, that the weakness of the modern personality betrays itself.
Does this book correctly depict the party's efforts in the socialist transformation of our country? ... No—the book speaks principally about Stalin, about his speeches and about his reports. Everything is tied to his name without the smallest exception. And when Stalin himself claimed that he wrote The Short Course on the History of the All-Union Communist Party (Bolsheviks), this arouses nothing less than indignation. Can a Marxist-Leninist really write about himself in such a way, praising himself to the skies?