GORDEEV P.N. The Cancelled Duel Between R.B. Apollonsky and V.E. Meyerhold: From the History of Russian Theater During the Epoch of Revolution

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15688/jvolsu4.2015.1.1

Gordeev Petr Nickolaevich

Candidate of Historical Sciences, Associate Professor, Department of History,

Herzen State Pedagogical University of Russia

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Naberezhnaja reki Mojki, 48, 191186, Saint Petersburg, Russian Federation


Abstract. In the beginning of April 1917 a conflict burst out in the troupe of the Alexandrinsky Theatre: a number of prominent actors brought an accusation of aesthetic and political nature against director V.E. Meyerhold. The immediate reason for this was Meyerhold’s act – the director attended the meeting of “theatrical figures” convened by F.A. Golovin, the Commissioner of the Provisional government, not being among the persons elected to participate in the meeting of the troupe. In particular, artist R.B. Apollonsky compared V.E. Meyerhold with a famous friend of Nicholas II – G.E. Rasputin. Therefore, having ignored the accusations in “modernism”, he reacted harshly to the comparison with Rasputin. Outraged by this, Meyerhold called Apollonsky out to a duel. As a result, the duel did not take place, but the story was covered in press in unfriendly to Meyerhold light. The author concludes that Meyerhold represented in press after the February Revolution as a representative of the “old regime”, during this period was trying to distance himself from the fallen monarchy, actively assimilating the radical vocabulary. The isolation of Meyerhold in the circles of theater community took place after the described incident and was likely to make it easier for him in future to join the party of Bolsheviks.

Key words: imperial theatres, revolution of 1917 in Russia, a duel, R.B. Apollonsky, V.E. Meyerhold.

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The Cancelled Duel Between R.B. Apollonsky and V.E. Meyerhold: From the History of Russian Theater During the Epoch of Revolution by GORDEEV P.N. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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