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From stage to page and back again: remediating Petrushka in early Soviet children's culture

Barker, Meghanne ORCID: 0000-0003-3399-1675 (2021) From stage to page and back again: remediating Petrushka in early Soviet children's culture. Russian Review, 80 (3). 375 - 401. ISSN 1467-9434

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Identification Number: 10.1111/russ.12318

Abstract

Early Soviet children's book authors and puppet theaters remediated the figure of Petrushka. As such, the prankster puppet traversed boundaries between book and stage. Books about mischievous Petrushka and friends invited children to create homemade puppet shows, encouraging children to manipulate and animate objects around them. Beginning in 1930, meanwhile, a new Theater of the Children's Book used puppetry to mobilize children into novel engagements with books. The figure of Petrushka, traversing between theater booth and children's book, brought elements of one medium into the other. I argue that such transmedial projects called attention to each, raising metapragmatic awareness about them, in line with efforts among culture-makers to make children active in the creation, manipulation, and animation of their material surroundings. At the same time, slippage between figures of Petrushka and child suggest uncertainty regarding whether energies of both should be celebrated, tamed, or effectively harnessed for proper Soviet ends. Incorporating literature from media studies, theater studies, and historical examinations of early Soviet children's culture, this article considers these transmedial projects as part of a larger endeavor within early Soviet children's literature of moving a medium into the children's book–and moving the children's book into new contexts. These projects raised awareness regarding the puppet as an object of manipulation, while suggesting that the child could be puppet-like, as well.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/14679434
Additional Information: © 2021 The Russian Review
Divisions: Media and Communications
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
P Language and Literature > PZ Childrens literature
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN2000 Dramatic representation. The Theater
Date Deposited: 21 May 2021 10:24
Last Modified: 20 Sep 2021 04:13
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/110521

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