Re: Russian Slang in Heinlein's Work (was Tolerance for Dissent on Extropians)

From: Damien Broderick (
Date: Tue Aug 07 2001 - 21:21:06 MDT

At 08:03 PM 8/7/01 -0700, you wrote:
>Mike Lorrey wrote
>> ...Heinlein's use of russian slang in "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress"
>> was part of a general attempt to get SF recognised by the leftists
>> who controlled (and generally still do) what as accepted as
>> "lit'rature" in the 50's & 60's.
>Would you please explain further your belief that Heinlein was actually
>pandering to leftists when he utilized Russian slang in that book? I
>naively thought that it was because he foresaw a greater role for the
>Soviet Union in the future than has so far turned out to be the case.

None of the above. In Heinlein's 21st century Lunar prison colony, which
organized its revolution exactly 300 years after the American revolution,
the population had been established by cruel authoritarian regimes on
Earth. Many families therefore contained members from Russian Bloc
backgrounds. The patois that emerged naturally blended English, Russian and
other languages (although one might have expected rather more loan words
from Mandarin or Cantonese).

Damien Broderick

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