УДК / UDK: 821.161.1.0

2021 №22

Author: Elena V. Bulysheva
About the author:

Elena V. Bulysheva — PhD in Art History, Associate Professor, Russian State Institute of Performing Arts (RGISI), Mokhovaya 34, 191028 St. Petersburg, Russia.


E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 


The published diary entries of the famous literary critic and bibliographer V.N. Chuvakov are devoted to his meetings with the actress E.A. Polevitskaya in 1958–1961. In the text there is an image of an actress who was extremely popular in the 1910s, who had a long and difficult creative path, but still needed theater and acting. From Polevitskaya’s memoirs about her theatrical activity and about the theater of the early 20th century Chuvakov builds the main plot for him, associated with the name of Leonid Andreev. Fragmentary, inconsistent, but vivid, the actress’ memories about her creative relationships and personal meetings with Andreev complement our ideas about the writer, bring new shades to the picture of theatrical and artistic life of the early 20th century. The publication includes a letter from Polevitskaya to prof. K.I. Platonov, the author of a “forensic psychopathological study” on Andreev’s play “Ekaterina Ivanovna.” In the letter, the actress expounds her original, deep interpretation of the image of the mysterious and attractive Ekaterina Ivanovna and the motivation for her actions. Chuvakov's notes create an idea of Polevitskaya as an actress, capable of seriously, analytically approaching work on the role, delving deeply into the author's intention, which makes the diary's author's conclusion reasonable: Polevitskaya is the best Ekaterina Ivanovna (the heroine of Andreev's play).

Keywords: E.A. Polevitskaya, Leonid Andreev, V.N. Chuvakov, Russian theatre of the early 20th century, “Ekaterina Ivanovna,” “He Who Gets Slapped.”
For citation:

Chuvakov, V.N. “My Meetings and Correspondence with Elena Aleksandrovna Polevitskaya (1958–1968)”, publ. by E.V. Bulysheva. Literaturnyi fakt, no. 4 (22), 2021, pp. 146–163. (In Russ.)  


1. Andreev, V. Detstvo [ Childhood]. Moscow, Sovetskii pisatel' Publ., 1963. 291 p. (In Russ.)

2. Andreev, L.N. Polnoe sobranie sochinenii i pisem: v 23 t. [ Complete Works and Letters: in 23 vols.], vol. 1. Moscow, Nauka Publ., 2005. 808 p. (In Russ.)

3. Andreev, L.N. P'esy [Plays], ed. by V. Chuvakov. Moscow, Iskusstvo Publ., 1959. 591 p. (In Russ.)

4. Ken, L.N., Rogov, L.E. Zhizn' Leonida Andreeva, rasskazannaia im samim i ego sovremennikami [ The Life of Leonid Andreev, Told by Himself and His Contemporaries]. St. Petersburg, Izdatel'sko-poligraficheskaia kompaniia KOSTA Publ., 2010. 430 p. (In Russ.)

5. Litavrina, M.G. “‛Svoia – chuzhaia’ v teatrakh raznykh stran. P.A. Markov o Elene Polevitskoi” [“‛Insider – Alien’ in Theaters of Different Countries. P.A. Markov about Elena Polevitskaya”]. Available at:  (Accessed 10 August 2021). (In Russ.)

6. Markov, P.A. Kniga vospominanii [The Book of Memoirs]. Moscow, Iskusstvo Publ., 1983. 607 p. (In Russ.)

7. Petker, B.Ia. Eto moi mir [This is My World]. Moscow, Iskusstvo Publ., 1968. 351 p. (In Russ.)

8. “Pis'ma L.N. Andreeva k Vl.I. Nemirovichu-Danchenko i K.S. Stanislavskomu (1913–1917)” [“L.N. Andreev’s Letters to Vl.I. Nemirovich-Danchenko and K.S. Stanislavsky (1913–1917)”], publ. and comm. by N.R. Balatova and V.I. Bezzubov. Uchenenye zapiski Tartuskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta [ Tartu State University Proceedings], issue 266: Trudy po russkoi i slavianskoi filologii. XVIII. Literaturovedenie [Studies in Russian and Slavic Philology. XVIII. Literary Criticism]. Tartu, 1971, pp. 231–312. (In Russ.)

9. Putintseva, T.A. Elena Polevitskaia [Elena Polevitskaya]. Moscow, Iskusstvo Publ., 1980. 304 p. (In Russ.)

10. “Put' aktrisy: Vospominaniia E.A. Polevitskoi” [“The Path of the Actress: Memoirs of E.A. Polevitskaya”], publ. by K.N. Kirilenko. Vstrechi s proshlym [Encounters with the Past], issue 3. Moscow, Sovetskaia Rossiia Publ., 1978, pp. 105–126. (In Russ.)

11. Sinel'nikov, N.N. Shest'desiat let na stsene: Zapiski [ Sixty Years on Stage: Notes]. Khar'kov, Izdatel'stvo Khar'kovskogo gosudarstvennogo teatra russkoi dramy Publ., 1935. 348 p. (In Russ.)