Back to top

Russian Dramatic Theory from Pushkin to the Symbolists

Russian Dramatic Theory from Pushkin to the Symbolists
An Anthology

This anthology presents a selection of important Russian writing on the aesthetics of drama and the theater from 1828 to 1914.

Series: University of Texas Press Slavic Series, No. 5

January 1981
This is a print-on-demand title. Expedited shipping is not available.
$35.00
392 pages | 6 x 9 |
ISBN: 
978-0-292-74167-6
Description: 

Although younger than most European theatrical traditions, the Russian professional theater has generated an exciting body of criticism and theory which until recently has remained unknown or nearly inaccessible in the West. This anthology presents a selection of important Russian writing on the aesthetics of drama and the theater from 1828 to 1914.

The focus of these essays, most published here for the first time in English, is on the so-called Crisis in the Theater of 1904 to 1914, a lively debate between the symbolists and the naturalists that evoked brilliant polemic writing from Meyerhold, Bely, Bryusov, and others. Along with Chekhov's amusing critique of Sarah Bernhardt ("monstrously facile!") and Ivanov's abstruse analysis of the essence of tragedy, the essays form a running commentary on the development of the Russian theater: Pushkin on his predecessors, Gogol on his own work, Belinsky on Gogol, Sleptsov on Ostrovsky and Leskov, Bely on Chekhov's The Cherry Orchard ("enervated people, trying to forget the terror of life"), the symbolists on one another.

Each selection is printed in its entirety, with extensive notes, and a lengthy introduction places all the pieces within their historical and cultural contexts to comprise a brief history of Russian dramatic theory before the revolution. This volume is essential reading for all who wish to extend their knowledge of the Russian contribution to theatrical history, theory, and criticism.

Contents: 
  • Foreword
  • Introduction
  • Aleksandr Pushkin
    • My Remarks on the Russian Theater
    • On National-Popular Drama and the Play Martha the Seneschal’s Wife
  • Nikolay Gogol
    • Petersburg Notes for 1836
    • A Theater Lets Out after the Performance of a New Comedy
  • Vissarion Belinsky
    • Dramatic Poesy
  • Vasily Sleptsov
    • A Type of the Current Drama
  • Anton Chekhov
    • More about Sarah Bernhardt
  • Andrey Bely
    • The Cherry Orchard
  • Innokenty Annensky
    • Drama at the Lower Depths
  • Aleksandr Blok
    • On Drama
  • Fyodor Sologub
    • The Theater of a Single Will
  • Andrey Bely
    • Theater and Modern Drama
  • Valery Bryusov
    • Realism and Convention on the Stage
  • Nikolay Evreinov
    • Introduction to Monodrama
  • Vsevolod Meyerhold
    • Russian Dramatists
  • Vyacheslav Ivanov
    • The Essence of Tragedy
  • Leonid Andreev
    • Letters on the Theater
  • Notes
  • Selected Bibliography
  • Index
Author: 

Laurence Senelick is the Director of Graduate Studies and Fletcher Professor of Drama and Oratory at Tufts University..