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From Stalin to MaoAlbania and the Socialist World$
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Elidor Mëhilli

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781501714153

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501714153.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM Cornell University Press SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.cornell.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Cornell University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in Cornell for personal use. date: 31 July 2021

The Discovery of a World

The Discovery of a World

Chapter:
(p.54) 2 The Discovery of a World
Source:
From Stalin to Mao
Author(s):

Elidor Mëhilli

Publisher:
Cornell University Press
DOI:10.7591/cornell/9781501714153.003.0003

This chapter views socialism as a mental world, following Albanian youths sent to the Soviet Union in the 1950s for training in literature, engineering, and architecture. These youths came to see themselves and others in similar socialist terms. The encounter with Moscow was awe-inspiring, but exposure to the socialist world could also be alienating. Such contradictory reactions find expression in the lives of two individuals: an aspiring architect shipped to Moscow to learn how to plan the socialist cities of the future, and a young writer sent on a scholarship to absorb the techniques of socialist realism. The chapter also shows how party-enforced “friendship propaganda” for the Soviet Union was meant to insert Albania into a genealogy of international socialism. This campaign came with rewritten history textbooks, mandatory Russian language courses, and a system of sanctions and rewards.

Keywords:   Sovietization, friendship, propaganda, Ismail Kadare, architecture, literature, Moscow, Gorky Institute, de-Stalinization

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