ARKADY GAIDAR AND HIS “TIMUROVTSY”. THE BEGINNING OF THE LEGEND AND MODERN ATTEMPTS AT ITS DEMYTHOLOGIZATION
Languages of publication
The aim of this article is to confront an official image of Arkady Gaidar and new studies on him amd to find out what the real social perception of Timur movement was. Gaidar was a famous Soviet writer, whose stories were very popular among Soviet children. He lost part of his childhood because of joining the Bolsheviks and participation in the Civil War that had a significant influence on his life and works. Gaidar found his vocation in writing children’s literature, giving children history lessons, telling them about young heros – their peers – and the romanticism of the revolutionary struggle. Many Gaidar’s works focus on motive of war (The Civil War and the Great Patriotic War). He encouraged supporting of the Red Army and the selfless helping soldiers’ families (Timur and His Squad). An altruistic pioneer game invented by Timur gave birth to the mass “Timur movement” all over the Soviet Union and in the Eastern Bloc. Children did good deeds: helped elderly people, prepared firewood, worked in gardens. After perestoika Gaidar’s works were read anew, their problems – criticized. Ew studies on his life portray him as murderer during the Civil War. Writer’s real life was diffrent from a propagandist ideal: Gaidar had alcohol and mental health problems. Former “timurovtsy” confessed that Timur movement was often not voluntary and did not give satisfaction. Official Gaidar’s image and altruistic Timur movement belong to a group of Soviet myths.
Publication order reference