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N.V. Gogol Dead Souls. About Bulgakov’s theater adaptation.

N.V. Gogol Dead Souls. About Bulgakov’s theater adaptation.

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[N.V. Gogol Dead Souls. For the Performance: A Dramatic Composition by M. Bulgakov]. N.V. Gogol Mertvye Dushi. K Spektaklu: Dramaticheskaia kompozitsiia M. Bulgakova.

Book design by N. Il'in.

Moskva, MKhT, 1937. 
8vo, 20 pp., [6], 15 plates, portrait. 

In original wrappers. 
In good condition, lightly soiled covers, a little loss at lower corners, some creasing to front cover.

One of 5 000 copies published.

Rare fifth-anniversary brochure on Bulgakov’s adaptation of Gogol’s 'Dead Souls' for the stage. This edition features an article by Vladimir Sakhnovskii, the production stage director, along with photos of the cast and various mise-en-scenes.

In 1930, Bulgakov joined the Moscow Art Theatre as an assistant director. He was immediately tasked with preparing a stage adaptation of 'Dead Souls'. Bulgakov wrote to his friend: 'A single glance at the notebook with the stage adaptation written by the invited dramatist was enough to make my eyes go green. I realized that I had walked into trouble at the very threshold of the Theater... After long agonies, it became clear what I have long known, but many unfortunately do not: in order to play something, one must write that something. In short, I had to write it myself... Vladimir Ivanovich [Nemirovich-Danchenko] was horrified and furious. There was a great battle, but still, the play in this form went into production. And the work has been going on for about two years'.
The premiere was held on November 28, 1932, and the reviews were negative. Nevertheless, soon after, Bulgakov signed a contract with Soiuzfilm cinema studio to write a screenplay based on 'Dead Souls'. The director of the film was to be Ivan Pyr’ev, one of the most important filmmakers of the Stalin era, with Dmitri Shostakovich as the composer. The film was never made.
The texts of the play and screenplay were never published during Bulgakov's lifetime. The play's text was first published in Munich in 1964.

OCLC locates only one copy of this edition: in the Harvard Library. 

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