Tag Archives: Vladimir Bukovsky

Samizdat: The Forbidden Fruit of Publishing

Image result for picking an apple, soviet union

Sweet ride! How ’bout ‘dem apples?

Scrabble players, here’s your word of the day: samizdat (no need for italics because it’s in English dictionaries!).

Essentially, a samizdat (a Russian word) refers to self-publishing, but in an environment when dissidents must go underground to avoid censorship or worse. According to the well-known Soviet dissident leader Vladimir Bukovsky, samizdat can be defined in the following way: “I write it myself, edit it myself, censor it myself, publish it myself, distribute it myself, and spend jail time for it myself.”


Probably the most famous book published in this style was Mikhail Bulgakov’s The Master and Margarita, still one of my favourite novels of all time. And if you think it’s hard to get published today, read up on Bulgakov’s own tragic tale.



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