Yuriy V. Lebedev
Kostroma State University
Lebedev Y.V. I.S. Turgenev and A.N. Ostrovsky. Vestnik of Kostroma State University, 2023, vol. 29, № S, pp. 26–35 (In Russ.). https://doi.org/10.34216/1998-0817-2023-29-S-26-35
DOI: https://doi.org/10.34216/1998-0817-2023-29-S-26-35
УДК: 821.161.1.09”19ˮ
Publish date: 2023-06-20
Annotation: In the early 1850s St. Petersburg writers-Westerners, close to Nekrasov’s Sovremennik, decided to involve A.N. Ostrovsky. In their circle, I.S. Turgenev, who visited the playwright in Moscow in January 1855. At the same time, Ostrovsky, represented by Turgenev, faced a serious competitor. Turgenev, not without reason, then claimed to renew and enrich the Russian theatrical repertoire. However, Turgenev the playwright could not stand the competition, left work on plays and recognized Ostrovsky’s priority. During the period of creating the national repertoire, our dramaturgy needed works of all-Russian sound, deeply immersed in folk culture. The refined dramaturgy of Turgenev was forced to give way to the more democratic and nationally rooted dramaturgy of Ostrovsky. The article reveals the hidden dispute between Ostrovsky and Turgenev in the comedy “The Poor Bride” and examines Turgenev’s polemical responses to this dispute in the comedy “Where it is thin – there it breaks” and in the story “Correspondence”. Unlike Ostrovsky, Turgenev poeticized spiritualized and incorporeal love, pure and sublime, but infinitely far from family joys and worries. Turgenev did not accept in Ostrovsky’s dramaturgy the idealization of merchant life and the parodic and satirical depiction of the Russian nobility. He believed that “the role of the educated class in Russia is to be the transmitter of civilization to the people”. The deep democratism of Ostrovsky’s work seemed limited to Turgenev. Hence, he highly appreciated the language of the national playwright, but often complained about the paucity of the content of his plays. At the same time, Turgenev actively sought to acquaint the Western European reader with the work of Ostrovsky, involving the Englishman Ralston and the Frenchman E. Durand in the translations of his dramas.
Keywords: Slavophiles, Westernizers, stage plays, proverb plays, psychological dramas, national repertoire, Gogol’s direction, natural school
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Author's info: Yuriy V. Lebedev, DSc in Philology, Professor, Honored Scientist of the Russian Federation, Kostroma State University, Kostroma, Russia, y.v.lebedev@yandex.ru