Russian Comedy of the Nikolaian Rea
Edited by Laurence Senelick
Routledge – 1997 – 112 pages
These four Russian comedies were written during the reign of Nicholas I, a period of considerable repression and censorship. They represent the most popular genres of the period.
Lensky's Her First Night was an immensely popular vaudeville which held the stage for years; Kozma Prutkov's Fantasy is a parody of vaudeville which was banned after one night. Turgenev's Luncheon with the Marshal is a comedy of manners about provincial life, and Saltykov-Schedrin's Pazukhin's Death is a satire of greed and corruption so savage that it was forbidden during the author's lifetime.
This collection constitutes a remarkable comic spectrum which will assist in enlarging the English language repertoire with a set of newly available and hightly stageworthy scripts.