Reference Guide to Russian Literature

By Nicole Christian; Neil Cornwell | Go to book overview

the past of the I950s, which is expressed through jazz music. As a result of internal quarrels Vasil'ev had to leave the Stanislavskii Theatre and was offered the small stage at the Taganka Theatre, where for several years he rehearsed Slavkin's next play, Cerceau. This was premiered in 1985 and has been acclaimed as the best production of the I980s.The 40-year old "Rooster" invites some colleagues, neighbours, and accidental acquaintances for a weekend at a dacha. All the characters lead their own lives without revealing their true feelings. After a series of excursions into the past, the tragic isolation of each of them becomes apparent, and yet they are incapable of sharing more of their lives with each other. In 1987 Vasil'ev set up his own theatre, the School of Dramatic Art. He has since been interested in the process of rehearsal, rather than the result (i.e. performance), and therefore has not completed any production in Moscow since 1987. Initially experimenting with improvisation, he later worked on dialogue structures in Thomas Mann and philosophical treatises. His main concern is the expression of ideas and the relationship of the idea to the speaker. Vasil'ev is without doubt one of the most influential people in terms of the theory of acting and analysis. As a practitioner, though, he has failed.

Mark Zakharov (b. 1933) came to the Theatre of the Lenin Komsomol in 1973 and developed a wide-ranging repertoire, including musical productions, political documentaries, contemporary plays, and classics given a modern interpretation. He has created a reputation for himself by his political engagement in the early stage of perestroika when he was one of the first to catch the spirit of reform, challenging in his articles the interference of bureaucrats. In his productions, he tackled historical issues with a hitherto unknown openness, as in Mikhail Shatrov's Diktatura sovesti [ The Dictatorship of Conscience], which for the first time mentions figures such as Bukharin and Trotskii, who had been blotted out of Soviet history books. He catches the spirit of the time, attracting young audiences with productions such as the rock-opera lunona i Avos' (Perchance) by Voznesenskii and Rybnikov ( 1981).

Lev Dodin has created a fine repertoire at the Malyi Theatre, Leningrad, mainly adapting prose for the stage. He staged a trilogy based on Fedor Abramov's Village Prose, and has adapted Iurii Trifonov, William Golding, and more contemporary writers such as Sergei Kaledin for the stage. His style is much influenced by Liubimov, and often devices echo those from the Taganka's productions. In his more recent work, though, greater emphasis has been placed on character and psychology.

The studio theatres are numerous, but transient. Only those that existed before 1986 have sustained their reputation. These have, however, made a powerful impact on the Russian theatre scene in that they have revived the notion of collective responsibility and have restored intimacy with the audience as opposed to the unconvincing psychologism of the Arts Theatre style in a huge auditorium.

Recent "sensations" include Lysyi briunet [ The Bald Brunette], a non-play by Dana Gink, starring the rock star Petr Mamonov.The bald and the brunette are two facets of one person, who communicate with the past by means of a wardrobe. The language is constructed on accidental alliteration and associative chains, and is nonsensical and illogical. There is no dramatic development, and the play is altogether a slap in the face of public taste. Nevertheless, it proved to be the most popular recent production for young theatre audiences. There is also the director Roman Viktiuk, who established his reputation with a most controversial production of The Maids by Jean Genet. Sharing with Genet homosexual inclinations, Viktiuk cast men for the parts of the maids and produced a show influenced by dance-theatre and using elaborate choreographic scores. He founded his own commercial theatre and relies on star names and titles to attract audiences.

In the absence of censorship and control, directors are for the first time since the Revolution free to experiment, and to return both artistically and economically to pre-revolutionary structures, enriched by the contributions of Soviet directors and influences from the west.


Experiment and Emigration: Russian Literature, 1917-1953

In the first few years after the 1917 October Revolution, more than three million Russians were beyond the rapidly diminishing geographical borders of the Russian Empire. There were those who were simply swept along by the wind of the proletarian revolution, but in the main the exodus comprised the intelligentsia and the officer class — the potential readership of the literature of the Russian emigration. Thus a new mass readership came spontaneously into being, with an abundance of writers and works on which to feast. The diaspora contained representatives of the most diverse styles and trends: among the realists were Ivan Bunin, Aleksei Tolstoi, and Ivan Shmelev; the modernists included Andrei Belyi (temporarily) and Aleksei Remizov, and were later joined by Evgenii Zamiatin; the Symbolists were represented by Konstantin Bal'mont, Dmitrii Merezhkovskii, Zinaida Hippius, and Viacheslav Ivanov — the latter subsequently becoming head of the Vatican library in Rome; of the Acmeists there were Georgii Ivanov and Nikolai Otsup; the Futurist contingent comprised Igor' Severianin and


Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Cite this page

Cited page

Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25,

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Reference Guide to Russian Literature
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Reference Guide to Russian Literature *
  • Contents *
  • Editor's Note vii
  • Advisers xi
  • Contributors xi
  • Alphabetical List of Writers and Works xiii
  • Alphabetical List of Works xix
  • Chronological List of Writers xxiii
  • General Reading List xxvii
  • Chronology xxxv
  • Glossary xxxix
  • Introductory Essays *
  • Old Russian Literature 3
  • Pre-Revolutionary Russian Theatre 9
  • Russian Literature in the I8th Century 13
  • Aleksandr Pushkin: from Byron to Shakespeare 18
  • The Classic Russian Novel 25
  • The Superfluous Man in Russian Literature 29
  • Women's Writing in Russia 35
  • Russian Literary Theory: from the Formalists to Lotman 40
  • Post-Revolutionary Russian Theatre 45
  • Experiment and Emigration: Russian Literature, 1917-1953 49
  • Socialist Realism in Soviet Literature 55
  • Thaws, Freezes, and Wakes: Russian Literature, 1953-1991 59
  • Russian Literature in the Post-Soviet Period 64
  • Writers and Works *
  • A 73
  • B 127
  • C 213
  • D 237
  • E 271
  • F 297
  • G 311
  • H 379
  • I 389
  • K 413
  • L 485
  • M 521
  • N 559
  • O 585
  • P 611
  • R 685
  • S 707
  • T 789
  • U 859
  • V 861
  • Y 897
  • Z 899
  • Title Index 933
  • Notes on Advisers and Contributors 963


Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 972

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25,

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed


    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.