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Book

Terror and Pity: Aleksandr Sumarokov and the Theater of Power in Elizabethan Russia

Boston: Academic Studies Press, 2016.
Ospovat K.

The study addresses the emergence of Russian tragedy in the 1740s as a consequence and an example of the pan-European theatrical poetics of absolutism, which used literary and dramatic techniques in order to reaffirm and re-negotiate the foundations of the moral consensus and political order.  Written for the court stage, Russian drama re-enacted the fundamental notions of supreme power, and its Aristotelian techniques of emotional impact provided the means for politically informed manipulation of anxiety, an important tool for the constant re-negotiation of the relationship between monarchy and its subjects.  Poetics of early modern tragic drama was shaped across Europe by the vision of absolute power as a state of exception, an idea which was mapped in Russian dramas onto the historical experience of spectacular autocratic terror.

Terror and Pity: Aleksandr Sumarokov and the Theater of Power in Elizabethan Russia