Mikhalenko N. V. Utopian idea in the Russian literature of the 1920s–1930s (The Journey of My Brother Alexei to the Land of Peasant Utopia by A. V. Chayanov in the context of the era) // The Russian Peasant Studies. 2021. V.6. №4. P. 6-20.

DOI: 10.22394/2500-1809-2021-6-4-6-20


Alexander Chayanov’s book The Journey of My Brother Alexei to the Land of Peasant Utopia is deeply rooted in the late 19th—early 20th century’s literary and philosophical ideas. His utopia was influenced not only by the futuristic projects of William Morris, Thomas Moore, Edward Bellamy and other authors mentioned in the book, but also by the ideas interpreted in the works of Vladimir Mayakovsky, Vladimir Kirillov, Evgeny Zamyatin, Andrei Platonov, and others. The picture of the peasant paradise presented by Chayanov’s economic ideas is similar to the dreams of the neo-peasant poets about an ‘izba paradise’ (izba—a traditional Russian farmstead), preservation of traditional values and folk culture. Technological achievements are described in the works of Mayakovsky and Zamyatin, and Chayanov’s utopia adds the ability to control meteorological processes. The writers’ reflections on the future man were influenced by their interpretation of future theurgic ambitions and their possible results (artificial selection, strict regulation of many spheres of life, compulsory realization of gifts and talents, separation or even extermination of dissenters, etc.). The futurologist ideas about the development of society, science, art and culture, implemented in different art forms, were tested to check the man’s ability to identify the limits of his power over his own nature while not attempting to suppress or change according to the challenges of technology.


Utopia, utopian idea in the Russian literature of the 1920s–1930s, Alexander Chayanov, Alexander Bogdanov, Sergey Esenin, Vladimir Mayakovsky, Andrei Platonov, Evgeny Zamyatin.

About the author

Mikhalenko Natalia V., PhD (Philology), Senior Researcher, А. M. Gorky Institute of World Literature of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Povarskaya St. 25а, 121069 Moscow, Russia.
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