Based on sources from rare book libraries in Russia and around the world, Picturing the Page offers a vivid exploration of illustrated children’s literature and reading under Lenin and Stalin – a period when mass publishing for children and universal public education became available for the first time in Russia. By analysing the illustrations in fairy tales, classic "adult" literature reformatted for children, and war-time picture books, Megan Swift elucidates the vital and multifaceted function of illustrated children’s literature in repurposing the past.
Picturing the Page demonstrates that while the texts of the past remained fixed, illustrations could slip between the pages to mediate and annotate that past, as well as connect with anti-religious, patriotic, and other campaigns that were central to Soviet children’s culture after the 1917 Revolution.
"In compelling prose, Megan Swift offers a kaleidoscopic vision of Soviet history through her focus on images that shift with the times at points of tension between the present and the past. With firm scholarly grounding, Picturing the Page closely examines visual detail and contextualizes works within the ideological intricacies of key periods to uncover and explain telling Soviet rereadings of classic texts."- Sara Pankenier Weld, Associate Professor of Germanic and Slavic Studies, University of California, Santa Barbara
"With impressive scholarship, Picturing the Page highlights both Russian and English-language materials, including critical monographs, periodicals, and rare illustrated books from the early revolutionary period."- Larissa Rudova, Professor of German and Russian, Pomona College
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