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Tolstoi’s Resurrection on the Russian stage

Sobolev, Olga (2023) Tolstoi’s Resurrection on the Russian stage. In: Reid, Robert and Andrew, Joe, (eds.) Tolstoi: Art and Influence: Art and Influence. Studies in Slavic Literature and Poetics. Brill Academic Publishers, 148 – 160. ISBN 9789004511293

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Identification Number: 10.1163/9789004533431_009


After the Revolution Tolstoi’s particular brand of critical realism was adopted by Soviet aestheticians as a template for Socialist Realism. Even so, a staging of Tolstoi’s novel Resurrection by the Moscow Art Theatre in 1930 was not the most obvious one to undertake: it not only required abridgement from its substantial novel form, but adjustment of its thematics to make it acceptable to a Soviet audience. However, since it is a work highly critical of the Tsarist status quo, it contains elements that could be ideologically foregrounded and others that could be conveniently excised. Accordingly, the role of the central character of the novel, Nekhliudov, a landowner anxious to atone for his social privilege and his behaviour as a young man, is practically reduced to that of a melodramatic seducer; while Maslova, the heroine, becomes an optimistic embodiment of the Socialist Realist ideal. Moreover, these modifications in characterization are mutually dependent: Maslova, seduced in her youth by Nekhliudov and ashamed of having fallen into prostitution, is in danger of assuming a victimhood incompatible with a positive Soviet heroine, whereas by presenting Nekhliudov as an utterly unsympathetic and even repulsive character, the sense of guilt is completely effaced from her image.

Item Type: Book Section
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Additional Information: © 2023 by Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands.
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PG Slavic, Baltic, Albanian languages and literature
Date Deposited: 20 Feb 2023 17:18
Last Modified: 15 Sep 2023 10:19

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