Rare Butterflies, Persecution, and Pinball Machines: Environment, Subjectivity, and Society in the Theatre of Arthur Adamov

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

Abstract

A striking absence of the living, non-human world haunts the dramatic works of Arthur Adamov. The plays exist in a ‘silent spring’ where not only birds, but also all non-human voices are rendered mute. The sound of horses’ hooves under the crack of a whip in Dead Souls (1959) , Adamov’s dramatic adaptation of Nikolai Gogol’s novel, is an exception to this silence and there are, in the same play, references to living trees and the appearance of (domesticated) horses on a projection screen. While Adamov’s version does carry over some of the details of the natural world that appear in the source text, the playwright drastically reduces the rich vitality of the Earth that features in Gogol’s novel. The varietal abundance of bird life detailed in Gogol, for example, is replaced in Adamov’s script by a single stuffed bird of an unspecified kind.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRethinking the Theatre of the Absurd
Subtitle of host publicationEcology, the Environment and the Greening of the Modern Stage
EditorsCarl Lavery, Clare Finburgh
Place of PublicationLondon & New York
PublisherBloomsbury Publishing
Chapter5
Pages147-164
Number of pages18
Edition1st
ISBN (Electronic)9781472505767, 9781472513205
ISBN (Print)9781472506672
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 11 May 2015

Publication series

NameMethuen Drama Engage
PublisherBloomsbury

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