Alexander Griboedov: The Eternal Debate on Human Dignity
The article is devoted to the forms and ways of understanding the ideas of Alexander Griboedov (1795–1829), embedded in his play Woe from Wit, at different stages of the history of Russian culture. The aim of the study was to trace the evolution of the critical consciousness, the scientific and artistic development of issues related to Griboedov’s work by means of exhibition activities, literary and textual research, and theatrical interpretations using separate examples. The author used the retrospection method, which allows one to track the evolution of a phenomenon from its observed form through various stages of formation in a chronologically opposite direction. The research materials were the works of literary critics and theater experts, publications in the regional Soviet press of the second half of the 20th century, as well as the author’s descriptions of the library exhibition and its exhibits. The starting point of the study was the exhibition of rare publications from the fund of the Krasnodar Regional Universal Scientific Library named after A.S. Pushkin, which was organized on the occasion of Griboedov’s 225th anniversary. Rare copies of books dedicated to Griboedov, in their entirety, help to understand the problem of the authenticity of the text of the play, which was not immediately brought to the canonical form and existed in different editions. Further, the author of the article turns to theatrical interpretations of Griboedov’s comedy in the first half of the 20th century when, in parallel, philologists established its final text. Despite the different skill levels of the capital and peripheral troupes, they understood Griboedov’s creative plan in the same ideological and aesthetic spirit. In the second half of the 1930s, the play was extremely popular; its stage production took place in at least seventeen provincial theaters of the RSFSR and Ukraine. Provincial performances blended the semantic and stylistic trends set by the leaders of the theatrical process. The conclusion is made about the close connections of philological science and theatrical practice in the interpretation of the play. The author first introduced into scientific discourse and analyzed the material on the production of the play on the stage of the Krasnodar Drama Theater named after M. Gorky in 1937. The author emphasizes that the images of the main characters were depicted in the spirit of obvious political visibility and class opposition. The provincial theater sought to adapt the traditions and method of Russian critical realism of the 19th century to the situation of the 1930s.