Lenin Remembers: To Russia with Love

Nadia, 19 Russian student

Mark, this is my Dream... I have dreams about me having sex with somebody very often. But one of them was very strange, because I had sex with Lenin, who was huge political leader in Russia in the beginning of the 20 century. I am Russian too. The dream was very clear and, well, all the feeling that I had during that dream felt very true too. I was wild, as I remember I enjoyed it, but just in the dream.

Mr Hagen's Response: To Russia with Love

"The question of what precisely is being witnessed is a complicated one, given the way sex functions as a vehicle for so many meanings and affects, not just for pleasure, but also for experiences of transgression, utopian aspirations, sadness, optimism, loss and the most primary longings for love and plenitude."                                                                            The Oxford Guide to Film Studies

Having never been to Russia, I cannot pretend to understand the psychodynamic literary life of men and women in Russia therefore these are merely some thoughts and impressions.

Lenin Remembers: Challenger to Capitalism, Patriarchy and Inequality

As you are Russian, your ideas, concepts and personality have been shaped by your national culture. Two news articles found at the CNN.com website help to understand your dream. CNN article of December 26, 2000 reports that in a poll of 1500 Russians found Lenin to be the "Man of the Century". The other CNN article of April 22, 2000, "Communists celebrate Lenin's birth". Lenin is an important icon in the visual lexicon of the 20th century. His Communist dream of World Revolution was to be a guiding source of conflict for most of the century. The James Bond film franchise had numerous stories about the Cold War, with To Russia With Love (listen to music of To Russia With Love) coming some might say at the chilly heights of the conflict. I'm sure that Lenin's utopian desires, hopes and dreams for a better life for his people was sincere. How to accomplish this goal is another question.

Lenin was married to Nadezhda Konstantinovna Krupskaya who wrote a book entitled The Development of Capitalism in Russia. After Lenin's death Krupskaya wrote a biography Reminiscences of Lenin. 

The Russian Novel: Ideology, Identity and Socialist Realism

Societies often have several, competing philosophies and ideologies based upon religious, economic viewpoints, political opinions etc. Opinions evolve, compete and change, sometimes quite frequently and quickly over issues such as morals (innocence versus corruption as reflected in public attitudes toward gambling or business ethics), politics (liberal versus conservative) and religion (pro-life versus pro-choice positions).

Ideologies are belief systems, or philosophies, with built-in binary oppositions such as good versus evil (moral philosophy), beauty versus ugliness (aesthetic philosophy), knowledge versus ignorance (epistemology,logic), truth versus fallacy (metaphysics). What a society philosophically views as beautiful, for instance, is built into that society's language, vision and dreams, and will be reflected unconsciously in the dreams of individuals, groups and nations.

Socialist Realism was an artistic credo, developed in Russia to implement Marxist-Leninist ideology. In literature especially, such as the Russian novel, communist writers of socialist realism reflected the struggle between the classes as the essential dynamic of society. As propaganda socialist realism served as a reaction to Bourgeois Realism, thereby promoting the Communist Party line by stressing the oppression of workers by capitalists.

The literary device of socialist realism was intended to help to embody political, economic and social ideas. Communist censors and critics rejected literature lacking ideological content, or that which was intended as entertainment or diversion. Writers were expected to express (Partynost, Ideynost and Narodnost) Communist Party Spirit and policy. Russian literature's function should express a unified national thought and character. The two Russian symbolic values of the individual and the collective or public were two poles of everyday life. Russian identity or lichnost as viewed through the optics of social realism was intended to serve the collective.

The novel Dr Zhivago by Boris Pasternak provides a poetic point of view of the Russian Revolution as seen through the the eyes of the books protagonist Yuri Zhivago. The book was censored by authorities, because it could be perceived as having an anti-Marxist ideology. The manuscript was smuggled out of Russia and published, the novel was later adapted as a screenplay and made into a film (watch video trailer). 

From a popular music perspective The Beatles Back in the USSR tried to speak to Russians at a time when the Cold War/Vietnam War was reaching new heights. Gorbachov's Glasnost (meaning openess) can be viewed as an attempt to end the ideological uses of socialist realism. The Scorpion's song Wind of Change gave hope that the Cold War was coming to an end. While Gorbachov made necessary changes, Lenin's memory still resonates in the dreams of his people. Your dream honors the memory and desires of Lenin. In 1990 American President H.W. Bush proclaimed the Cold War was over (read Dreams of Nuclear Warfare).

Literature of interest;

Tomislav Z. Longinovic border line culture: The Politics of Identity in Four Twentieth-Century Slavic Novels.




All material Copyright 2006 International Institute for Dream Research. All rights reserved.