Dramaturgic innovations in the works of L. Andreev and S. Przybyszewski: the reception aspect

Tyumen State University Herald. Humanities Research. Humanitates


2015, Vol. 1. №3(3)

Dramaturgic innovations in the works of L. Andreev and S. Przybyszewski: the reception aspect

Author: Galina N. Boeva

About the author:

Galina N. Boeva,
Cand. Sci. (Philol.), Associate Professor, Department of Cultural Science and All-Humanitarian Disciplines, Nevsky Institute of Language and Сulture


This article explores the similarity of Andreev’s and Przybyszewski’s innovative dramaturgic experiments. The author of the article suggests that the perception of Andreev as Przybyszewski’s «double» in the turn-of-20th-century Russia may be explained by a search for precedents in European art for the Russian writer’s innovations. The Polish decadent was an important figure in European art and, at the same time, a part of the Russian cultural space. Critics based their comparisons of the two authors on the similarity of their philosophical and aesthetical premises reflected in the writers’ works, as well as on the peculiarity of their position in the contemporary literary process – being on the borderline of different trends. Besides, the closeness of the two writers was, to a great degree, formed in the readers’ consciousness thanks to the Kulturträger efforts of two influential Symbolist publications – the journals «Scales» and «The Golden Fleece», which saw their mission in merging Western European and Russian art. The article presents both the empirical aspect of the reception of Andreev’s plays as inspired by experiments of the Polish decadent and the comparison between theoretical premises of the two playwrights — Przybyszewski’s programmatic essay «On Drama and the Stage» (1902, in Russian 1904) and Andreev’s two «Letters on the Theatre» (1913-14). The article’s author demonstrates that calling for the rejection of using theatre as entertainment as well as for the new psychologism, Andreev, following Przybyszewski, constructs his premises on the concept of soul («psyche») — the key concept for European modernism. At the end of the article the author suggests that both authors were included in the European modernist discourse and notes the similarity of the two writers’ posthumous literary reputations, which have also affected the reception of their dramatic heritage.


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