In the late 1920s — the early 1930s, Shakespeare studies in the Soviet Union were dominated by the method of ‘vulgar sociology’. This official methodology influenced every scholar of literature. One of the key figures in literary studies of the time was Vladimir M. Friche.
A change in attitudes to Shakespeare, caused by the general interest in the heritage of classical authors in the Soviet theater, did not occur until 1934.
The article focuses on the yet little researched interpretation of Shakespeare developed in the 1930s by Sigizmund D. Krzhizhanovsky, and his original position in history and cultural scholarship. In particular, we have for the first time analyzed the transcript of Krzhizhanovsky’s paper devoted to Shakespeare’s chronicles. This document is preserved in Fond No. 52, “Vserosskomdram” at the Department of Manuscripts, Institute of World Literature, Russian Academy of Sciences.
The concept of history which underpins Krzhizhanovsky’s interpretation of Shakespeare’s chron icles can be traced back to the problems of methodology of historical knowledge as advanced by German philosophers of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Among the original interpreters and followers of this approach in Russia were such historians as A. S. LappoDanilevsky, I. M. Grevs and N. P. Antsiferov.
According to Krzhizhanovsky, Shakespeare selected his historical material with an accuracy of a historian. By studying various Shakespearean characters, historical and fictional, Krzhizhanov sky reconstructs the internal structural features of Shakespeare’s chronicles as a textual poetics through analysis and correlation of historical facts and their interpretation both by Shakespeare’s contemporaries and in the author’s imagination. The latter transforms historical facts according to the dramatic canon and creates a fictional world for Shakespeare’s contemporary audience. Krzhizhanovsky argues that, not knowing their own future, spectators are pleased to view themselves as ‘the future’ for historical characters on stage, and to watch the drama of ‘the past’ proceed into the present.
The article deals with the analysis of W.Shakespeare's works in the Internacionalnaya literatura's editorial policy.