A Pearl from an Old Curiosity Shop
The authoress attempts at a brief presentation of the life and works of Nikolai Evreinov (1879-1953)– one of the leading figures of the Russian Silver Age. This extended biogramme mentions both Evreinov's involvement in successive artistic initiatives, including the establishment of the 'Under the Homeless Dog' club, his activity in 'The Crooked Mirror', and theoretical texts. She draws attention to the multitude of professions pursued by Evreinov, who was a director, a philosopher, an actor, a playwright and a theoretician of art. In the attached (pp 169-171) excerpt of Evreinovs book 'Towards the Philosophy of the Theatre' (1915) a question is asked about the essence of the theatre by opposing the generally accepted perception of the theatre as entertainment or narrowly comprehended 'art'. Nikolai Evreinov saw the presence of the theatre in simplest human activity, claiming that each person possesses a theatrical drive and instinct which compel him to conduct constant transformations both of reality and himself. Stress is placed on the fact that we render our life theatrical already in childhood, if only in the assorted games we play. The role of games among Indian tribes, Mexicans, etc. is also discussed. Finally, Evreinov was one of the first to introduce the concept of the 'theatralisation of life', which remains fundamental for such domains as the anthropology of the theatre or performance studies.
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