FEBRUARY 1999 
 
  
 
           Franco Manzoni
An author, strongly featuring, in an European sense, the nineteenth century Russian theatre was Ivan Sergeevic Turgenev (1818-1883). Turgenev was born in a family of ancient aristocracy and grew in his mother's land estate of Spassk, carrying out philosophical studies at Petersburg where he contacted the Russian literary world of that time. Then he went to Berlin from 1838 to 1840 and, returned to Russia, start off his poetry activity; in the 40s tried the first narrative and theatre pieces, among which we remember “An imprudence “ (1843). Finally, since 1856, he settled definitively in France, in Paris, where he remained till his death. Beside the creation of narrative pieces Turgenev always kept alive his interest toward the theatre 'material', mainly in the ten years 1840-50, and produced, on a side, light comedies as “Where the thread is thin it breaks “ (1847), “Breakfast to aristocracy marshal 's “ (1849), “The bachelor “ (1849) and, on the other side, pieces where the framework of the plot concerns mainly the character of figures as “Others' bread” (1848), “A month in the country “ (1850), “The provincial” (1851) e “An afternoon at Sorrento” (1852). It is necessary to acknowledge that Turgenev stimulated decisively the realistic trend of the scenic representation of the Russian every day life and probably got to the most successful top with the piece “A month in the country “, a censored text, that had the possibility of being represented in Moscow only twenty years after its writing (1872). The inward life of the personages of “A month in the country “ is considered step by step by Turgenev into minus details, by the means of an approach nowadays we call psychological. Magistral the representation for the humdrum and tiresome of the daily life of who lives in a country estate and the several changes brought to every one soul the sudden presence of a young tutor. In an age when the Russian world gave the maximum exponents of the prose literary production, also the very well-known Nikolaevic Tolstoj tried dramaturgy. One of the more well-known theatre pieces is the “The power of darkness “ (1866), represented only in 1895. It regards a prose five acts drama, set in the country Russia whose protagonist is Nikita, a man who, at the mercy of dark and diabolic forces, just due to this natural tendency to evil of his, acts always as if he were guided by an horrible evil spirit. First he seduces Marinka to leave her for Anisija, a married young woman who poisons her husband for him. Nikita, his time, seduces her stepdaughter and puts down the baby born from this relationship. The young girl's marriage day, during the wedding party, Nikita, obsessed by compunction, confesses to all the presents his own misdeeds, fairly letting imprison himself. Tolstoj enlightens the most inward impulses and discloses what it is attempted to hide for several reasons: one's own sin acts, those the most miserable and blameable. He underlines how the man, in this case Nikita, to get free from an anguish by now unbearable, must irremediably try to act according that bit of conscience that, fortunately, he still keeps. Revealing to presents the foul deeds of his self, Nikita leaves the evil darkness and at the same time succeeds in taking away the mask finally, so regaining a bit of dignity. Other two works of Tolstoj, “The results of instruction “ (1889), represented in 1892 and “The living corpse “ (1900), did not have neither success among public nor the dramatic charge of “Power of darkness” “, in spite of the fact that “The living corpse “, for example, leads with a matter that even by that time was very felt, that is the dissolution of marriage. In this piece Tolstoj narrates the events of a man in love with his wife who, instead, loves another. To liberate his wife from the bond of matrimony, for the great love he feels, he doesn't find another dignified solution to this situation but the suicide, he does not hesitate to carry out.
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