Science Fiction Film & Television

From ‘sots-romanticism’ to rom-com

The Strugatskiis’ Monday Begins on Saturday as a film comedy

Science Fiction Film & Television (2015), 8, (2), 127–144.

Abstract

The Strugatskii brothers’ novella Ponedel’nik nachinaetsia v subbotu (Monday Begins on Saturday; 1965) imagines bright young scientists working at the cutting edge between quantum physics and folktale sorcery in a setting that was undeniably contemporary and local. I argue that the story can be best understood as ‘soc(ialist) romanticism’ – an aesthetic mode that celebrates the possibilities for individual questing and agency in late Soviet socialism. Konstantin Bromberg’s 1982 adaptation of the Strugatskiis’ story abandons both the romanticism and complexity of the novella, but, by incorporating elements of the‘youth film’, it represents a different kind of Soviet rom-com.

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Bondarenko, Svetlana, ed. Neizvestnye Strugatskiie: Chernoviki, Rukopisi, Varianty. Ot ‘Ponedel’nika do Obitaemogo ostrova’. Donetsk: Stalker, 2006. http://royallib.com/read/bondarenko_svetlana/neizvestnie_strugatskie_ot_ponedelnika__do_obitaemogo_ostrova_chernoviki_rukopisi_varianti.html#0. Accessed 5 Feb 2014. Google Scholar

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Gogol, Nikolai. Dead Souls. Trans. George Reavey. New York: W.W. Norton, 1980. Dead Souls Google Scholar

Kim, Yulii. ‘Yulii Kim. Pesni dlia fil’ma “Charodei”’. 9 Nov 2007. Accessed 15 Feb 2014. Yulii Kim. Pesni dlia fil’ma “Charodei” Google Scholar

Klimova, Olga. ‘Soviet Youth Films under Brezhnev: Watching between the Lines’. PhD University of Pittsburgh. 2013. http://magazines.russ.ru/nlo/2007/88/ku8.html. Dissertation. Accessed 20 Feb 2014. Google Scholar

Kukulin, Ilya. ‘Chetvertyi zakon robotekhniki: fil’m “Prikliucheniia Elektronika” i formirovaniie “pokoleniia 1990-x”’. Veselye chelovechki. Kul’turnye geroi sovetskogo detstva. Ed. I. Kukulin, M. Lipovetsky and M. Maiofis. Moscow: Novoe Literaturnoe Obozreniie, 2008. 458–506. http://www.universalinternetlibrary.ru/book/28496/ogl.shtml#t71. Accessed 9 Feb 2015. Text divided into 11 sections. Google Scholar

Pomerantsev, Vladimir M. ‘Ob iskrennosti v literature’. Novyi Mir 12 (1953): 218-45. Ob iskrennosti v literature Novyi Mir 12 218 45 Google Scholar

Saburova, Olga. ‘Vsia pravda o fil’me “Charodei”: Skazka i byl’ 30 let spustia’. Sobesednik.ru (31 Dec 2013). http://sobesednik.ru/culture/20121231-vsya-pravda-o-filme-charodei-skazka-i-byl-30-let-spustya. Accessed 21 Feb 2014. Google Scholar

Saliev, A. ‘Fizike svoe, poezii svoe’. Literaturnaia gazeta (2 July 1969): 3. Fizike svoe, poezii svoe Literaturnaia gazeta 3 Google Scholar

Skalandis, Ant. Brat’ia Strugatskiie. Moscow: ACT, 2008. Brat’ia Strugatskiie Google Scholar

Spufford, Francis. Red Plenty. London: Faber and Faber, 2010. Red Plenty Google Scholar

Snow, C. P. The Two Cultures. And a Second Look. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1965. The Two Cultures. And a Second Look Google Scholar

Strugatskie, Arkadii and Boris. Ponedel’nik nachinaetsia v subbotu. Moscow: Tekst, 1992. Ponedel’nik nachinaetsia v subbotu Google Scholar

Strugatskii, Boris. Kommentarii k proidennomu St. Petersburg: Amfora, 2003. Kommentarii k proidennomu Google Scholar

Tertz, Abram. On Socialist Realism. Trans. Max Hayward. New York: Pantheon, 1960. On Socialist Realism Google Scholar

Yakovlev, Iurii. ‘Skazka dlia vzroslykh’. Sovetskaia kul’tura (6 Jan 1983): 6. Skazka dlia vzroslykh Sovetskaia kul’tura 6 Google Scholar

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Howell, Yvonne