УДК / UDK: 821.161.1.0

2023 №28

Author: Irina I. Sizova
About the author:

Irina I. Sizova — PhD in Philology, Senior Researcher, A.M. Gorky Institute of World Literature of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Povarskaya 25 a, 121069 Moscow, Russia.


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The article arranges little-known details from the history of the creation of L.N. Tolstoy’s folk play “The Power of Darkness” (1886) and its staging in “Skomorokh” Theater (1886–1887, 1895) in chronological order. The article presents a historical and literary review of the “Skomorokh” Theater (1882–1897) as one of the city’s professional theaters for the public audience before and after the intersection of its repertoire with Tolstoy’s work on the basis of materials from the Russian State Archive of Literature and Art (RGALI), namely memoirs of the theater’s entrepreneur M.V. Lentovsky, the manuscript of the book “Spectators and Theater. Theatrical notes and memoirs of the half-century theatrical work” of the theatrical figure and teacher N.A. Popov, correspondence of Tolstoy’s friend and follower V.G. Chertkov and the diary of the writer R.M. Khin-Goldovskaya. The analysis also involves factual information about the “Skomorokh” and the drama “The Power of Darkness” from literary and theatrical periodicals of the second half of the 19th century, i. e. the section “Chronicle” of the journal “Theater and Life,” critical works by N.A. Popov, V.P. Burenin, A.L. Volynsky, E.E. Matern, etc. The results show that the artistic tasks set by the theater “Skomorokh” in 1886–1887 and in 1895, the declaration of literary and critical thought of the 2nd half of the 19th century was broken in its own way about the nationality / accessibility of art, the active creator of which was Tolstoy. The article reveals new aspects of Tolstoy’s creative manner as a playwright by the example of unknown circumstances of the participation of theatrical figures (M.V. Lentovsky) in the creation of the script for Tolstoy’s work.

Keywords: L.N. Tolstoy, popular drama “The Power of Darkness,” the “Skomorokh” theater, literary and theatrical criticism of the 2nd half of the 19th century, the Russian State Archive of Literature and Art (RGALI), the category of the nationality of art.
For citation:

Sizova, I.I. “Little-known Details from the History of the Creation of L.N. Tolstoy’s Play ʽThe Power of Darkness’ (1886) and Its Staging in ʽSkomorokh’ Theater (Based on the Materials of the Russian State Archive of Literature and Art and Periodicals of the Second Half of the 19th Century).” Literaturnyi fakt, no. 2 (28), 2023, pp. 156–170. (In Russ.)


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