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A.M. Gorky Institute
of World Literature
of the Russian Academy of Sciences

IWL RAS Publishing

A.M. Gorky Institute of World Literature
of the Russian Academy of Sciences


Povarskaya 25a, 121069 Moscow, Russia



Types of publications

About the author:

Alexander L. Renansky, Professor of the Department of Theater Creativity, Belarusian State University of Culture and Arts (Minsk, Belarus).

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The article is dedicated to conceptualization of the first the Moscow Art Theater experience in stage production of Dostoevsky’s novel “The Brothers Karamazov” in (1910). A description is given of the process of V.I. Nemirovich- Danchenko’s work over a staged version of the novel and its scenic evocation. Consideration is given to the artistic discoveries of fundamental importance for the world theater that occurred in the process of work over the stage play: the discovery of new stagecraft techniques for theatricalizing great literature, the discovery of new “cinematographic” principles of editing acting scenes that had not been invented yet by the then cinematograph itself, the radical rethinking of the traditional temporal structure of scenic action, and the introduction of a Reader (Narrator) into the performance, a novelty for the world theater that allowed the combination of drama action and epic narrative, and the anticipation of the epic theater of the future. The public reaction to the stage production of “The Brothers Karamazov” found expression in a bitter widespread and lengthy dispute among leading political and literary-artistic groupings that revealed not only the deepening polarization in the attitudes toward Dostoevsky’s work but also the far-flung symptoms and signs of the spiritual condition of the Russian society in the prerevolutionary period.

  • Keywords: Dostoevsky, “The Brothers Karamazov”, Vl. Nemirovich- Danchenko, dramatization, Moscow Art Theater, directing, performance, theater criticism, reviews.


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