John - I found your talk very exciting: thank you! I enjoyed it all and particularly the reflections on intermediality and dialogue across periodicals, posters, live performance and visual art. I am intrigued to learn that Krokodil was the most popular satirical magazine in the world (in terms of numbers of readers, I think you said?), and I liked what you said about its relationship with readers via competitions etc. I was also very interested in the way it engaged with satirical traditions and publications in other countries. It's a small point but I wondered if you could say a bit more about figure 7, in which Krokodil reproduces covers from Punch, Le Rire and Der Wahre Jacob and adds cartoon images of their imagined readers. What is happening there in terms of dialogue with satirical magazines in other countries? Thank you again, Faye
Thanks Faye - I was very influenced by Mikhail Bakhtin's discussion of dialogism when I began my readings of Krokodil, and I found countless examples of the ways the magazine (as a whole and in individual texts) engaged with other satirical texts directly and indirectly. Krokodil generally reverently referred to European satirical traditions in its texts, and I think it saw itself as the inheritor of the tradition of magazine culture from the C19th. I think it generally identified more with German magazines than French or British, and there's some references in the memoir literature to the way Russian satirical magazines modelled themselves quite consciously on Simplicissimus. In Fig 7., however, Krokodil is setting up a contrast, and it's a class and ideological contrast, with quite critical graphic commentary and written descriptions of the journals. So in this case, the dialogue serves to distinguish Krokodil's political, satirical and social roles in the USSR by contrast with contemporary European satire, I think. This issue is celebrating Krokodil's anniversary, though, and in its celebrations of Soviet achievements Krokodil tended to be more partisan than usual.