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Graphic Satire in the Soviet UnionKrokodil's Political Cartoons$
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John Etty

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781496820525

Published to University Press of Mississippi: January 2020

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781496820525.001.0001

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Becoming Soviet in Krokodil

Becoming Soviet in Krokodil

(p.191) Chapter Eight Becoming Soviet in Krokodil
Graphic Satire in the Soviet Union

John Etty

University Press of Mississippi

This chapter considers the cartoons of Krokodil's third schema, which reconciled questions about everyday life in the USSR, presenting ideology as a set of behaviors, more or less consciously adopted, and therefore theatrically performed. Krokodil cartoons about citizens "becoming" Soviet were self-reflexively graphic texts that depicted incorrect responses to circumstances and failed performances of ideological acts by "non-masters", and thus heightened readers' self-consciousness about the act of seeing. They did so, as this chapter shows, using three metaphors: i) theatrical performances, ii) aids and hindrances to clear vision of all types, and iii) surveillance (of stiliagi, for example) to refract discourses about the Soviet government's highest policy priorities.Krokodilsatirically explored Soviet lived experience, performing acts of revelation for its readers' benefit. Many "becoming" cartoons manifest internal and intertextual tensions which function as ocular exercises to revolutionize readers' understandings of what they saw, thereby encouraging the self-construction of Soviet subjectivity.

Keywords:   Everyday life, Subjectivity, Performance, Surveillance, Stiliagi

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