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Article

Drama Innovations in Nikolai Erdman's The Warrant and The Suicide

The Russian Review. 2014. Vol. 73. No. 2. P. 261-280.
Kovalova A.
Translator: Е. Гришин.

For many years the playwright Nikolai Erdman and his remarkable impact on Russian theater and drama have been almost forgotten. In the 1990s, however, his drama began attracting critics' attention. Now, as a result, Erdman is viewed as one of the prominent Russian playwrights of the first half of the twentieth century. Although recently Erdman became an important object of research, the innovations of his drama have never been analyzed as specific phenomena. This article is focused on poetics of two main Erdman's plays: “The Warrant” and “The Suicide.” By analyzing the time and space, as well as the plot, dialogue, and characters, the main innovatory elements of these plays are analyzed. According to this analysis, Erdman's dialogue appears to be the playwright's most significant discovery which impacted not only his own drama but the whole Russian theater of the twentieth century as well.