Immoral Obscenity: Censorship of Folklore Manuscript Collections in Late Stalinist Estonia
AbstractThe history of folkloristics contains many cases of obscene materials that were excluded from field notes, books and archives. The Estonian Folklore Archives (founded in 1927) did incorporate dirty jokes, riddles and songs in its collection. Soviet occupation changed the topics of folklore scholarship and archival practices. Between the years 1945 and 1952, the Folklore Archives’ manuscript collections, catalogues and photographs were censored. Anti-Soviet texts were cut out or made unreadable. In the first years after the incorporation of the Republic of Estonia into the Soviet Union, anti-Soviet mainly meant politically sensitive materials such as jokes about Stalin, very patriotic texts or the names of some people. During the beginning of the 1950s, stricter rules were applied and obscene texts were also censored. In this article, I will focus on the censorship of obscene words and motifs and the political dimension of moralistic censorship in a totalitarian state.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs license, the author(s) and users are free to share (copy, distribute and transmit the contribution) under the following conditions: 1. they must attribute the contribution in the manner specified by the author or licensor, 2. they may not use this contribution for commercial purposes, 3. they may not alter, transform, or build upon this work.
Authors retain the following rights:
- copyright, and other proprietary rights relating to the article, such as patent rights,
- the right to use the substance of the article in future own works, including lectures and books,
- the right to reproduce the article for own purposes, provided the copies are not offered for sale,
- the right to self-archive the article.