I have just completed the transcription of ‘On Literature and Art’, a compilation of the writings of Anatoly Lunacharsky. You can find this work in the MIA’s Lunacharsky archive here. A few of the articles were already available on the MIA so I can’t take credit for all of it. What I have done is fill the gaps so that the volume can be presented in its entirety.
Lunacharsky (1875–1933) was Commissar of Education in the Soviet Union, which included responsibility for culture. Lunacharsky was both open-minded and cultured, with wide-ranging interests in philosophy, languages and art criticism. He campaigned effectively against illiteracy, reformed the education system and introduced subsidies for the arts. He even wrote several plays. I won’t attempt to assess his career here: suffice to say that he was a tolerant figure close to Lenin and Trotsky, who was stripped of important positions when Stalin took power.
This compilation was put together by a Soviet compiler in 1965, who notes in the introduction that it represents just a fraction of his writings on the arts.