Vassily Aksyonov Drama Analysis
Vassily Aksyonov uses his dramatic works as vehicles for criticism of the Soviet government and Soviet society, which did not endear him to the authorities of his native land. All five of his plays are heavily satirical, holding the follies and foibles of his targets up to ridicule, often indirectly through comedic stereotypes. Yet the actual targets of his wit remain obvious enough to offend the powers that be in an authoritarian society. Therefore, only one of his plays, Vsegda v prodazhe, was produced within the Soviet Union. Director Olega Efremov staged the drama in Moscow’s Sovremennik Theater in 1965. Plans were made to stage three of his other plays in the Soviet Union, but none of these plans were realized. The Heron was produced abroad, in Paris in 1984.
Attempts to publish his plays met with similar difficulty. In 1977, Your Murderer was published abroad. In 1979 Aksyonov published The Four Temperaments in the literary almanac Metropol, of which he was an editor. Because Aksyonov published Metropol in defiance of Soviet censorship, he was exiled to the United States. However, his play The Heron was published in the journal Kontinent later that year. In 1981 a collection of his plays was published by Hermitage, a Russian emigré publishing house.
Aksyonov’s work has consistently shown a strong awareness of his literary predecessors, including such...
(The entire section is 1500 words.)
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