Review: Belomor

Belomor: Criminality and Creativity in Stalin’s Gulag by Julie Draskoczy (Myths and Taboos in Russian Culture) was reviewed in Modern Language Review, Volume 110, Part 4, October 2015. Reviewer Andrea Gullotta (University of Glasgow) writes:

“The most outstanding feature of this book is probably the unpublished material it includes and its analysis as presented by the author. This, together with the wide range of cultural objects analysed (art, theatre, poetry, autobiographies, songs, chastushki, tattoos, etc.), testifies to the extremely precious work done by the author, who managed to recover from Russian state archives and from secondary sources a very interesting set of material for her work. . . . [T]here is no doubt about the quality of this research, which the author has carried out with devotion, enthusiasm, and—interestingly enough—creativity. . . . Draskoczy’s book is one of the few monographs devoted to the analysis of creativity within the camp. It shows how insightful, inspirational, surprising, and productive research on the Gulag from within, using the documents written or created by prisoners during the time they spent there, can be.”