HOW MODERNISM DISAPPEARED FROM FYODOR GLADKOV’S CEMENT BETWEEN 1924 AND 1958
By ARTHUR LANGEVELD
In 1921 Fyodor Gladkov, aged thirty-nine, after having spent his entire life in the province, was given the opportunity to read one of his stories in Moscow and was jeered off by the audience. Such an old-fashioned and simple narrative did not do these days. Was it really possible that he had never heard of Bely or Remizov? Had all the developments in Russian literature of the preceding twenty years passed him by?
A simple worker’s son with literary ambitions was thrown to the wolves in Moscow and the audience couldn’t wait to get their hands on him. In 1921, four years after the Russian revolution and shortly after the end of the civil war, the prevailing taste in the intellectual Muscovite circles was still entirely modernist. Bely and Remizov were two of the leaders of this movement in Russian literature, and Bely’s great novel Petersburg, dating from 1913, is still considered to be one of the milestones of Russian modernism. If you wished to be taken seriously in literature, you were well advised to acknowledge the influence of these giants.
The Russian literary landscape of the first few decades of the twentieth century roughly looked as follows: although realism, the omni-potent movement of the latter half of the nineteenth century, was past its climax around 1890, it had by no means disappeared at the time. Writers such as Gorki, Bunin and Korolenko, who are considered to belong to late-realism, were among the most popular Russian writers in the twentieth century as well. The centre of literary life had, however, moved towards the symbolists, and from 1910 inreasingly towards the acmeists ( a trend which can best be compared to west European modernism and neo-classicism) and the futurists, a typically avant-garde trend. Despite huge differences between the three, they are still denoted by the collective term ‘modernism’. In the Soviet Union it had become common practice to call anything not belonging to realism ‘modernist’ or ‘formalist’.
After the revolution of 1917 the situation was very complex. Symbolism and acmeism were almost entirely denounced by the new leaders as typically decadent bourgeois movements and only futurism (being anti-bourgeois) was tolerated, be it not whole-heartedly, largely by the fact that Mayakovsky, the leader of the futurists, was a confirmed communist. Lenin’s literary preference was conservative and he abhorred the futurist modernism. Two other bolshevist leaders, Trotsky, and especially Lunacharsky, cultural commissioner in the post-revolutionary years, however, were more tolerant of the latest cultural developments.
So it happened that immediately after the revolution, in the early twenties, a number of works have been published by young writers, who were greatly influenced by their modernist predecessors, especially by Andrej Bely. Initially, these writers were very successful and influential. They enjoyed the attention of Trotsky, Lunacharsky and even Gorky, who, despite having remained faithful to realism, was greatly interested in all things new. As a result, young writers like Pilnyak, Zamyatin, Babel and Bulgakov soon succeeded in gaining nation-wide recognition. Yet the influence of modernism went beyond this. How far becomes obvious in Gladkov’s work of that time.
Gladkov took the criticism of his work very seriously indeed. He learnt a great deal from Bely and Remizov and especially from the young Boris Pilnyak, whose controversial first novel, The Naked Year, was published in 1922. Gladkov’s next work, the novel Cement, published in 1924, shows all the marks of the modernist works of these writers. In view of this, it was not accidental that the novel was first published (as a serial) in the journal Red Barren Land (Krasnaja Nov’) that also published Pilnyak’s and Babel’s works and was an important mouthpiece for all so-called fellow travellers of the time, i.e. of non-marxist writers who cast a critical eye on the situation in the Soviet Union and who, on the whole, did not write in the traditional realist style. Voronsky, the journal’s chief editor, was their supporter and protector as long as it was possible.
The works of the Russian pre- and post-revolution modernists have two distinguishing characteristics. First, the emphasis on language, due to which the prose of these writers is also called ’ornamental’. In ‘ornamental’ prose the techniques of poetry, such as sound effects, metaphors, comparisons and repetition, are used not as coincidental ornaments but as a structural principle of the entire work.
Second, an overt or hidden polemic with the unconditional belief in human rationalism and in the idea that technology and science can solve all problems between heaven and earth before long. For the Russian modernists of the 1920ies man is predominantly a being with strongly irrational sides. Emotions, intuition and instinct are essentially more important to him than rational considerations. This was predominantly a reaction to the unbridled faith in the blessings of the scientific learning of the leftist-radical movements in Russian society from roughly 1860. (Reaching its undisputed peak with Chernysjevsky’s What Is to Be Done?, a novel every radical youth knew by heart well into the twentieth century). With the Bolsheviks having gained power in 1917, this faith became the ultimate truth. Science and technology, combined with socialism, would eventually solve any problem whatsoever and lead humankind into paradise before long. Nearly all post-revolution modernist works express doubts about this virtually absolute, utopian belief in the rationalism of the modern human being.
In the Russian history of literature of the twentieth century Cement is considered to have become the first classic example of the so-called `production novel`, one of the most important genres of socialist realism. A production novel follows a given pattern. Irrespective of the circumstances, a factory, power plant or kolkhoz is in a state of total disarray, yet the hero of the narrative, invariably a ‘positive hero’, sacrifices his private life so as to fully devote himself to the good cause. It goes without saying that innumerable obstacles have to be overcome and that, at a given moment, the project seems to be doomed to meet an inglorious end. However, thanks to the unwavering dedication of the positive hero, all is well in the end. The production novel has much in common with the old-fashioned heroic tale, a highly popular genre in Russian folklore, as well as the fairy tale. (Actually, there is a striking similarity with the average crime serial on TV). We can therefore conclude that the genre of the production novel largely stems from popular literature and that it keeps its distance to any modernist trends.
In Cement the basic facts are extended with numerous subplots and elaborations. The principal character, Gleb Chumalov, a soldier in the Red Army, returns home after the civil war. The hero’s homecoming is also an essential element in these novels.
On his return Gleb is faced with chaos. The cement factory, in which he had worked before the civil war, lies idle and on the premises goats and pigs are rambling around while the factory workers are busy making cigarette lighters and growing cabbages. Chumalov’s private life is not satisfactory either. His wife, Dasha, has joined the Red Women and is dedicating herself to socialism day and night. Their young daughter, Nyurka, lives in a children’s home. Their home has become a cheerless hole, as Dasha is hardly bothering about it any more. She has become a liberated woman and works, eats and sleeps in the party office. Another communist fanatic, Polya Mekhova, is making advances to Gleb, but he keeps his distance.
These are the two strands of the narrative, the first being Gleb’s attempts to get the factory going again and his personal development, his relationship with Dasha and Polya. The second strand is Dasha’s relationships with other men, among whom comrade Badin, the head of the local executive committee. Gleb, the positive hero in all matters relating to the factory, still has to learn a lot in so far as his private life is concerned. He must gradually conquer his inner patriarch, who expects his wife to have supper ready and the house spick and span. His wife now has the same rights as men, also with respect to sexuality. The metamorphosis Gleb has to undergo is even.more thorough. From a character focused on individuality he has to change into a person focused on collectivity. Eating in canteens, sleeping on the factory precincts together with other workers, and sharing his wife with other men. That was the new man, the homo sovieticus, as propagated in the first few years of communist rule.
Naturally, all sorts of remainders from times past can be found in the factory. The most important is the old bourgeois, civil engineer Kleist (it is no coincidence that the name is foreign, i.e. German), with whom Gleb still has a bone to pick. At the beginning of the civil war Kleist betrayed Gleb to the Whites. As if by miracle, he was able to escape. In view of this, Gleb’s initial reaction is to throw himself on Kleist and take revenge. But he soon realises that he needs Kleist’s technical know-how to get the factory restarted. Kleist, in turn, realises that Gleb, being enthusiastic and charismatic, is the only person to convince the workers to save the factory, the apple of his eye, from total destruction.
Kleist, to whom the factory and technology are of uppermost importance, devotes himself completely to the reconstruction of the factory. He represents the fellow traveller, a person who doesn’t support the only true doctrine but who, nevertheless, cooperates loyally.
In Cement, Gladkov has incorporated all kinds of facts that were topical at the time. Dasha and Badin, e.g., are involved in enforced grain requisitions from the farmers; the factory is raided by rebellious Cossacks; the bourgeois from the city are ‘expropriated’, i.e. evicted and their entire property confiscated by proletarian gangs; the NEP (the New Economic Policy initiated by Lenin in 1921, allowing once more a certain degree of private initiative) is implemented and shops, restaurants and luxury goods are reappearing; Badin and some other party officials misuse their position by eating caviar, drinking cognac and smoking cigars; a committee is formed to cleanse the party; Polya, a communist hardliner, is expelled from the party as a result of criticising the NEP, while Dasha turns out to be an ideal party member. Badin is promoted as well, which, considering his numerous offences, is truly remarkable.
Gleb’s private life hits rock bottom, when his young daughter, Nyurka, dies in the children’s home. Gleb leaves for the district capital in order to gain permission to restart the factory. The attempt to get permission from the authorities is also a key element of the production novel. It takes Gleb a full month to overcome the bureaucratic barriers. At the same time the factory is in trouble again and work is virtually suspended. Gleb is furious and, having returned, he forces everyone to do their utmost best to get the factory ready for operation. They succeed and at the end Gleb is cheered by the assembled workers. Dasha leaves him for good, not for another man, but for her work and for socialism.
This is just a summary of the contents. Cement has not got a rigid plot, despite the happy end. Reading the novel for the first time, one is soon lost due to the large number of protagonists and confusing events. In fact, all these secondary paths take up the best part of the narrative. The reconstruction of the factory, the central theme of the story, is continuously snowed under by other events. In view of this, Gladkov’s foremost intention rather seems to paint a portrait of a confusing period than to write a rigidly structured novel with a message as actually required in this genre. Pilnyak had used a similar technique in his novel The Naked Year. The book, lacking a main character, describes all kinds of events in the year 1919, set in a provincial town, and portraying varying characters in varying episodes. Apart from the perpetual cycle of the seasons, language was the structural principle of the novel. Playing subtly with sounds, words and phrases, repeated as a refrain or musical elements turning up again and again in unexpected positions, the author is creating a unity outside the subject.
Gladkov must have had in mind a similar construction. His theme demanding a continuous narrative strand, however, stood in his way. Gladkov’s mixing linguistic experiments in a socialist novel has resulted in an odd hybrid.
Although Cement is part of the canon of socialist realism, one should keep in mind that the book was written in 1924, and that it was not until 1934 that socialist realism was a compulsory requirement. In the twenties it was not at all clear what direction the young Soviet literature would take. The situation was rather fluid. Neither had the term socialist realism been coined, nor did its required fixed patterns and imposed taboos exist. Although a thorough search was made for a marxist, proletarian literature, it had not yet been decided what form it was to be given. A marriage between modernism and socialism seemed a viable possibility. Cement is by no means the only ‘socialist’ novel with modernist features. It is significant that Andrej Bely, the modernist par exellence, headed a department of Proletkult in Moscow in 1924, an organisation whose main aim was to bring forth (marxist) novelists and poets. Writers such as Ehrenburg and Shaginyan, who were popular at the time, tried the same as Gladkov. In the thirties even modernist writers such as Pilnyak and Platonov tried once more to adapt to socialism without completely renouncing modernist elements.
Cement, the first example of the peculiar genre of the production novel in Russian literature, is a pioneer on the one hand. On the other, it also complies with a long-standing tradition of literary works propagating a radical, socialist view on society. Its most popular examples are the already mentioned What Is to Be Done? written by Chernyshevski in 1863, and The Mother written by Gorky in 1905. In these two works (but there are many more) an ideal hero, who is to become the model for the compulsory ‘positive hero’ of socialist realism, already makes his appearance. Gladkov has adopted this idea. Gleb Chumalov represents an ideal man, who is untiring, not discouraged by obstructions, able to inspire others and offering his personal life. Making sacrifices is an important element in this kind of narratives.
Gladkov does not pack this in a tightly ‘goal-oriented’ story, however, without too many secondary paths and written in the ‘realistic’ language of Chernyshevski and Gorki, a transparent language not dominating the story, but in the language of modernism aiming at the very opposite, i.e. focusing the attention on itself with sound effects, unusual words and a great number of different style registers, as shown in the example below (1927 version, p. 156):
Leaving the factory canteen and passing through the tired crowd, Dasha and Gleb,
worn out, came out upon the road and then turned off down a wild path invaded
by bushes, tendrils of wild vines and tangles of thick, evergreen ivy. They had only just entered the underwood of young oaks and witch-elms, whose springlike grey and blind, springlike transparency pulsated with an inner murmuring, when they were joined by Polya Mekhova.
The two most striking features in this quotation are sentence inversion and word repetition: ‘tired’ and ‘worn out’, twice ‘springlike’. In Russian the similarity of sound is even more conspicuous because the Russian term for ‘wild’ sounds virtually the same as the term ‘tired’: ‘odichály’ and ‘ustály’ respectively, so that the similarity of sound is emphasised. Another striking feature is the lyrical description of the bushes: ‘invaded by tendrils of wild vines and tangles of thick, evergreen ivy’, followed by the poetic impression of the undergrowth ‘whose springlike grey and blind, springlike transparency pulsated with an inner murmuring’. This is not the prose one would expect in a socialist book.
Apart from this kind of lyrical descriptions of nature Gladkov has a predilection for bawdy colloquial speech in a semi-Ukrainian dialect, as the book is set in southern Russia by the Black Sea. This is another element borrowed from the modernist works of, among others, Bely and Pilnyak. In the works of the radical socialist writers the colloquial speech of the lower classes tends much more towards the standard language. It is typical of the modernist writers to use the full stylistic range of the Russian language, including dialects and ‘substandard’ usage. The quotation below can be found towards the end of the book, with the factory running at last and the workers being mad with joy.
- Well, brothers? What a hell of a noise we’re making, eh, Satan’s brood!.
Loshak turned his bovine gaze upon Gleb and pulled his cap over his eyes.
- We’re getting on all right, fathead… eh… We’ve got the factory fixed up and we get cracking again…I’ve got to say that much, numbskulls…
Gromada waved his arms and it seemed that his bones were rattling.
- It’s spot on, comrades…There’s no discusting that…we’ve done something fantasticl, I can hardly stand on my feet for wonderment at the way these working masses are proving their proletarian consciousness, and so on and so forth… comrade Chumalov… ah, if only! Comrades … here and everywhere and so on and so on…
Although this translation is no more than a dim reflection of the original, it still indicates what Gladkov is aiming at: a highly realistic, non-stylised rendition of the colloquial speech of a simple unskilled labourer, including stammering, mistakes in difficult words (‘discust’), coarse expressions and communist clichés in a single sentence (‘at the way these working masses are proving their proletarian consciousness’). This makes him a precursor of Andrey Platonov, who, some years later, was to turn the Russian language upside down.
Another striking feature in Gladkov’s rendition of colloquial speech is the use of fragmented phrases, which is very characteristic of the work of the modernist Pilnyak written in the same period. In Pilnyak’s novels too, the protagonists hardly ever produce grammatically complete sentences and the purpose of communication is emotional rather
Emotions are important in Cement. In this respect too, Gladkov proves to have been influenced by the modernists. Whatever action he takes, Gleb Chumalov is led by his feelings, emotions, and his instincts rather than by rational considerations. The latter are the motor for the bureaucrats and party officials, and they invariably lead to stagnation, lethargy and apathy. Emotional people, on the other hand, are men and women of action, knowing subconsciously (instinctively) what to do. This is perfectly illustrated in the opening lines of the chapter ‘The Masses’ (from book IX, The Cable Car). Under Gleb’s inspiring leadership a first attempt is being made to get the cable car going again, with which the fuel from the other side of the mountain is to be transported.
It was not each individual that Gleb felt, but the inner avalanche of the muscular movement of the masses around him. Bathed in perspiration he worked like a bull, turning over with a shovel chalk and clay which was to become cement. And Gleb did not bathe in this brute strength through his consciousness, but through his inner self. (italics by me, A.L.)
‘Not through his consciousness but through his inner self’. Gladkov emphasises the intuitive element that can move mountains. Gleb merges into the crowd with his heart and soul.
Cement is a book with a basically romantic hero who puts emotion above intellect. In addition, it is a book in which all kinds of tricky (delicate) problems of the time are brought up and current developments are regularly commented upon critically. (This is, in fact, another feature it has in common with the works of Pilnyak, Zamyatin or Bulgakov). In the Soviet Union the 1920ies were a period of expectation, hope for a new and better society, but also a time of chaos, starvation and abuse of power. Both aspects of this bewildering period are discussed in the novel. Cement is by no means an uncritical ode to the new regime. The passages describing the children’s home in which Nyura, the young daughter of Gleb and Dasha is staying, are quite harrowing – with the children searching for food in the rubbish –The same goes for Dasha’s indifference to the fate of her child, whose yearning for food is even surpassed by her yearning for love, which, however, she is hardly getting from her mother who is obsessed by the class struggle. A further remarkable aspect in the narrative is the sympathy shown for another protagonist, the other male leading character of the book: Sergey Ivagin is of communist conviction, despite the fact that he is of bourgeois and intellectual origin. During the cleansing of the party he, being bourgeois by birth, is expelled, yet he is not a negative hero. Polya too, who is so devoted to the romance of the revolutionary struggle in the civil war that she cannot embrace the new times, i.e. the NEP with its new priorities and materialism, is described as a tragic heroine rather than one to be condemned.
The communist Badin, on the other hand, is a notorious womanizer who spends a rowdy night with Dasha and later rapes Polya. Like other bolshevik leaders he abuses his position.
The sexual liberation of women plays an important role in the book, illustrated by Dasha who breaks the chains of monogamy and the family bonds and is engrossed in her new vocation. This is also a major topic in the years immediately following the revolution, in which the family was considered a relic from the bourgeois past. Furthermore it was generally believed that women had to be freed from their household duties by means of day-care centres, children’s homes and canteens, so as to enable them to fulfil their role in building up socialism.
In the twenties the star of modernism in the Soviet Union was waning quite rapidly. Towards the end of the decade modernist writers like Pilnyak, Zamjatin and Babel were increasingly criticised. The marxist writers, who had united in the RAPP, The Russian Association of Proletarian Writers, became more and more aggressive. More and more often the term ‘formalist’ and ‘formalism’ was used to denote modernist writing and was becoming the customary term of abuse for all modernist and avant-garde art, its implication being: obscure and above all hostile to the class struggle.
In 1934 socialist realism became a compulsory requirement and, before long, the requirements a literary work of socialist realism had to meet were formulated. In a nutshell, they were as follows: a positive hero, a language that can be understood by the common people and does not differ too much from standard language, keeping close to the party line, themes that are ‘typical’ of the time, and depicting reality ‘in its revolutionary development’. This really meant: not of the actual reality but of one as it ought to be in an ideal socialist society. Due to this last command, socialist realism was highly utopian from the very beginning.
In all these respects, with the exception of the positive hero, Cement actually fell through. That is why Gladkov wrote a number of new versions in the thirties and fourties, in which the book was adapted to the new requirements of the time. Needless to say that it was exactly the modernist elements that fell victim to this rewriting. The same fate was in store for the feminist and sexual passages, as in the Stalin Era the traditional family and monogamy were restored and the sexual liberty of the twenties was put an end to.
In the last version, dating from 1958, Cement has shed most of its modernist feathers and has turned into a book complying with virtually all socialist realist rules. It is worth mentioning that Gladkov stood fully behind this new version. Also towards the end of his life, during the so-called ‘Thaw period’ under Khrushchev, he never made a single attempt or the slightest suggestion to undo certain changes, despite the fact that he could easily have done so at the time. To him this last version was definitive. So the ‘old-fashioned’ realistic style of his early, cheered off narrative had at last won the battle. Gladkov had become a famous writer through this book.
In the later version example 1, with its ornamental language, sounds as follows:
Leaving the factory canteen, Dasha and Gleb came upon the road and disappeared in the bushes overgrown with the tendrils of wild vines and tangles of thick, everlasting ivy. They had only just entered the undergrowth of young oaks and witch-elms, springlike grey and transparent, when they were joined by Polya Mekhova.
It is above all the repetitions that have disappeared. The terms ‘worn out’ and ‘tired’ have even been removed completely. In the new version neither Gleb nor the crowd are tired. The ‘wild path’ from the original version has also bitten the dust. At the end of the paragraph the repetition of ‘springlike’ has been eliminated as has ‘the inner murmuring’
The colloquial speech has not escaped unscathed either. When the book was published, Gorky had already warned Gladkov that, if he wanted to obtain a readership throughout Russia, he had to use dialect and coarse language a little more sparingly. Apparently, Gladkov has taken seriously this advice. In the later version example 2 has been cut down as follows:
- We’re getting on all right, eh old chap?. . . Really! . . . After all, we’ve made the show get going again. . .
Panting, Gromada used all his strength to shout loudly and with an air of great
– That’s so, comrades… As we stand here, we’ve turned in a tremendous performance, I can hardly believe it… comrade Chumalov… Ah, if only! Comrades… here and everywhere… and so on…
All proletarian ornaments as ‘we’ve fixed it up’, ‘the show gets going again’, ‘we bash it in’ have been scrapped, as have mistakes like ‘dicust’and ‘the working masses proving their proletarian counsciousness’.
It is therefore not astonishing that the passage in italics in example 3, in which Gleb is driven not by his consciousness but by his inner self, has been scrapped and the whole paragraph has been shortened drastically.
It was not the support of individuals that Gleb felt, but rather the combined power of the masses about him. Bathed in perspiration, he was turning over with a shovel the chalk and clay.
On the whole, the too explicitly sexual passages have been scrapped entirely, such as the following passage in which Badin en Dasha are travelling on business in a little carriage to a village, with the sexual tension between them increasing by the minute.
… then his face stifled her with savage kisses and the strong odour of a man’s sweat. Then she felt the blood of his hands, lips and nostrils surging upon her; then followed a languor, a wave of feminine weakness, of confused delight and fear. She felt her heart hammering ceaselassly in her breast. And one other thing she knew: she must fight furiously, strike, break his hands to catch him by the throat and strangle him, to get free from these iron, inhuman hands. . .
By the end of the same chapter Dasha finally finds herself in bed with Badin. That is to say, in the old version.
In the guest room of the Executive Committee , Dasha (how it came about she never knew) spent the night with him in one bed, and for the first time in years his stormy blood brought to her in the night hours the unforgettable passion of a woman.
In the later version it has become::
For any reason whatsoever, Dasha herself thought it was strange: she felt that Badin was empty and that his strength had flown into her, into Dasha: that she just had to snap with her finger and he would obey her blindly.
From the thirties Dasha has become a much less liberated woman. Beside the passages above, all references to her sexual escapades in the past and the rape through an officer of the Whites have disappeared from the book. The same also goes for Polya Mekhova: All scenes in which her erotic attraction to Gleb plays a role have been eliminated or cut down so much that no more than a vague suggestion is left.
The most harrowing details about the children’s home have also been scraped, although Nyurka still dies and Dasha refuses to look after her in spite of knowing that Nyurka is not well. The scene of the children looking for food in the garbage, hovever, has been kept, be it a little less graphic.
Finally, it is remarkable that in the last chapter a very noteworthy scene has survived all versions virtually unscathed. Sergey Ivagin, the communist of bourgeois and intellectual descent, due to which he has been expelled from the party, is standing at the quay when he suddenly discovers the dead body of a newborn baby among the rubbish..
Close to the wall, in the square, in the middle of waste and seaweed, laid the body of a new-born child. A read handkerchief was tied around its tiny head, there were socks on its feet, and one could not see its hands as it had a white cloth carefully tied around it.
Obviously, Cement has lost most of its modernist features in the course of thirty years, but still – and this is interesting – not quite all. Even despite all rewritings, the original, if only vaguely, is still discernable. The modernist has not been conquered entirely by the arrière-gardist.
Cement by Fyodor Gladkov appeared in 1925 and was the first exampel of the genre of the ‘production novel’. The first version of the book, published in the well known literary journal ‘Red Barren Land’, showed the profound influence of contemporary modernist Russian literature, particularly of Pilnyak’s novel Naked Year. Throughout his lifetime, Gladkov rewrote passages of Cement both to suit contemporary political concerns and to fit with the Socialist Realist aesthetic established in 1932. The last, and according to its author definite, version was that of 1958, which appeared shortly before Gladkov’s dead. Victim of the rewritings were, except from almost all the feminist or sexually outspoken passages, especially the numerous modernist elements in it. But still with a few exceptions. The history of Cement is in fact the history of how a modernist-socialist hybrid was transformed into a middle of the road socialist-realist novel with, in the distance, an unexspected vague modernist touch.
Fjodor Gladkov, Cement, printed by “Zemlja i Fabrika”, Moskva-Leningrad, 1927.
Idem, Cement, printed by “Pravda”, Moskva, 1947.
Idem, Cement, printed by “Pravda”, Moskva, 1982.
Idem, Cement, translated into Dutch by C. Anarges, introduced by dr. Alfr. Hackel, N.V. Van Holkema en Warendorf’s Uitgeversmaatschappij, Amsterdam, publishing date not mentioned.
Idem, Cement, A Novel, translated from the Russian by A.S. Arthur and C. Asleigh. Frederick Ungar Publishing Co., New York, 1973.
Otto Boele, ‘Fedor Vasil’evich Gladkov’, in: Christine Rydel (ed.), Russian Prose Writers Between the World Wars, published by Thomson and Gale, New York, Detroit, 2003, pp. 119-128.
Katerina Clark, The Soviet Novel. History as Ritual, Indiana University Press, Bloomington,
Idem, ‘Socialist Realism in Soviet Literature’, in: Neil Cornwell (ed.), The Routledge
Companion to Russian Literature, Routledge, London, New York, 2001, pp. 174-183.
Gleb Struve, Geschichte der Sowjetliteratur, Wilhelm Goldman Verlag, München, publishing date not mentioned.
Nyota Thun, Das erste Jahrzehnt. Literatur und Kulturrevolution in der Sowjetunion,
Akademieverlag, Berlin, 1973.
Pavla Vesela, ‘The Hardening of Cement: Russian Women and Modernization, in: NSWA
Journal, Vol. 15 No.3 (Fall), 2003, pp. 104-123.
Aleksandr Vlasenko, Fedor Gladkov, stranicy zizni, stranicy tvorcestva, published by Sovremennik, Moskva, 1983.