• Meyerhold’s debate points for “Debates about Inspector General”, State Meyerhold Theatre (GosTIM), Moscow (January 3, 1927). Russian State Archive of Literature and Art, f. 963, op. 1, ed. khr. 504: 14 verso–15.

Translation

  • LECTURE BY VS. MEYERHOLD
    “15 Theses for 15 Episodes”
    (INSPECTOR GENERAL at the State MEYERHOLD Theatre)

    1. Gogol’s dissatisfaction with the theatrical interpretation of Inspector General in 1836 as the starting point for the 1926 production.
    2. Entertaining and denunciatory productions.
    3. Anecdotal and biographical aspects of the dramatis personae.
    4. Using the achievements of masters of film: [D. W.] Griffith, [James] Cruze, [Buster] Keaton, and [Charlie] Chaplin. Using their methods to overcome “jokes characteristic to the theater” [see book: p. 78]. New methods of actors’ play.
    5. Destroying the myth of Gogol’s hyperbolism.
    6. The text. A choice of variants. (Spoken text.) The elimination of asides in characters’ lines.
    7. Language style. Discovering the musical structure of the text.
    8. The fiction of the monologue. Its outdatedness and techniques for its abolition.
    9. The fiction of the division into acts. New theatrical divisions: the creation of episodes. Using this to emphasize the fundamental core of the comedy.
    10. Social aspects of the milieu. The development of new characters. Design of the material elements. THE STYLE OF EVERYDAY LIFE.
    11. Music. The selection and arrangement of musical material.
    12. Critical response.
    13. The widespread full-force attack by minor critics and its result. Audience response.
    14. Three types of critics: theater experts, reviewers of the parliamentary sort, reviewers who lack qualifications.
    15. Accusations against the production of three deadly sins: mysticism, eroticism, and asocialism. Our response.

Meyerhold’s debate points for “Debates about Inspector General

From The Director's Prism: E. T. A. Hoffmann and the Russian Theatrical Avant-Garde by Dassia N. Posner


  • Typescript of Meyerhold’s lecture notes, with each point numbered separately in a list, for the January 3, 1927 evening of debates about Inspector General.

    See book: p. 88, 89

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