Born in 1823, he was the son of a lawyer doing business among the Moscow tradesmen. With this merchant class Ostrovsky was familiar from his childhood. After finishing his course at the gymnasium and spending three years at the University of Moscow, he entered the civil service in 1843 as an employee of the Court of Conscience in Moscow, from which he transferred two years later to the Court of Commerce, where he continued until he was discharged from the service in 1851. Hence both by his home life and by his professional training he was brought into contact with types such as Bolshov and Rizpolozhensky in It's a Family Affair: We'll Settle It Ourselves. As a boy of seventeen Ostrovsky had already developed a passion for the theatre. His literary career began in the year 1847, when he read to a group of Moscow men of letters his first experiments in dramatic composition. In this same year he printed one scene of A Family Affair, which appeared in complete form three years later, in 1850, and established its author?s reputation as a dramatist of undoubted talent. Unfortunately, by its mordant but true picture of commercial morals, it aroused against him the most bitter feelings among the Moscow merchants. Discussion of the play in the press was prohibited, and representation of it on the stage was out of the question. It was reprinted only in 1859, and then, at the instance of the censorship, in an altered form, in which a police officer appears at the end of the play as a deus ex machina, arrests Podkhalyuzin, and announces that he will be sent to Siberia. In this mangled version the play was acted in 1861; in its original text it did not appear on the stage until 1881. Besides all this, the drama was the cause of the dismissal of Ostrovsky from the civil service, in 1851. The whole episode illustrates the difficulties under which the great writers of Russia have constantly labored under a despotic government. Alexander Ostrovsky (1823-1886) was an early Russian Realist whose work led to the founding of the Moscow Arts Theatre and to the career of Stanislavsky. He has been acknowledged to be the greatest of the Russian dramatists.
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Book Description Athena Books, 2005. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P11141470240X