fellow traveller

▪ Soviet literature
Russian  Poputchik,  

      originally, a writer in the Soviet Union who was not against the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917 but did not actively support it as a propagandist. The term was used in this sense by Leon Trotsky in Literature and the Revolution (1925) and was not meant to be pejorative. Implicit in the designation was the recognition of the artist's need for intellectual freedom and his dependence on links with the cultural traditions of the past. Fellow travellers were given official sanction in the early Soviet regime; they were regarded somewhat like experts who were filling the literary gap until a true proletarian art emerged. In the 1920s some of the most gifted and popular Soviet writers, such as Osip Mandelshtam, Leonid Leonov, Boris Pilnyak, Isaac Babel, Ilya Ehrenburg, and members of the Serapion Brothers were fellow travellers. The period during which they dominated the literary scene is now regarded as the brilliant flowering of Soviet literature. They were opposed bitterly, however, by champions of a new proletarian art, and by the end of the decade the term came to be practically synonymous with counter-revolutionary.

      Outside the Soviet Union the term was widely used in the Cold War era of the 1950s, especially in the U.S., as a political label to refer to any person who, while not thought to be an actual “card-carrying” member of the Communist Party, was in sympathy with its aims and supported its doctrines.

* * *


Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • fellow traveller — BrE fellow traveler AmE n someone who supports and agrees with the beliefs of an organization, such as the Communist Party, but does not belong to it used to show disapproval …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • fellow-traveller — ► NOUN ▪ a non member of the Communist Party who nevertheless sympathizes with its policies. DERIVATIVES fellow travelling adjective …   English terms dictionary

  • fellow traveller — UK / US noun [countable] Word forms fellow traveller : singular fellow traveller plural fellow travellers 1) a person who travels with someone else 2) someone who supports a political party, especially the Communist party, but is not a member of… …   English dictionary

  • fellow-traveller —    a Communist sympathizer or apologist    Trotsky s poputchnik and Lenin s useful fool who may be described as fellow travelling:     I knew you had some Communist friends... They thought you were a sentimental fellow traveller, just as we did.… …   How not to say what you mean: A dictionary of euphemisms

  • fellow traveller — noun 1. a communist sympathizer (but not a member of the Communist Party) • Syn: ↑fellow traveler • Hypernyms: ↑sympathizer, ↑sympathiser, ↑well wisher 2. a traveler who accompanies you • Syn: ↑ …   Useful english dictionary

  • fellow traveller — {n.} A sympathizer with a political movement who does not officially belong to the political party in question. * /Many Germans after World War II were innocently accused of being fellow travellers of Nazism./ * /During the McCarthy era, many… …   Dictionary of American idioms

  • fellow traveller — {n.} A sympathizer with a political movement who does not officially belong to the political party in question. * /Many Germans after World War II were innocently accused of being fellow travellers of Nazism./ * /During the McCarthy era, many… …   Dictionary of American idioms

  • fellow-traveller — noun a sympathizer with, but non member of, the Communist Party. Derivatives fellow travelling adjective …   English new terms dictionary

  • fellow traveller — BrE, fellow traveler AmE noun (C) someone you disapprove of because they agree with the aims of the Communist Party …   Longman dictionary of contemporary English

  • fellow traveller — noun a) One who travels together with another. b) One who sympathizes with the aims or beliefs of an organization, without belonging to it; most often applied to a Communist sympathizer …   Wiktionary

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.