12 July 2012

Joseph Brodsky’s “Gorbunov and Gorchakov” Onstage

Nikita Yefremov, right, is compelling as the sensitive Gorbunov with Smolyaninov as the nasty, evil Gorchakov. Photo: Sergei Petrov / Sovremennik Theater

In the Moscow Times today, a review of Joseph Brodskys “Gorbunov and Gorchakov,” which Yevgeny Kamenkovich mounted on the small stage at theSovremennik Theater – a play which the Nobel laureate never intended to be a play. Rather it’s a 14-part poem of 7,600 words, recalling his stints at the psychiatric hospitals Kanatchikov Dacha and Pryazhka over the Christmas holidays of 1963, while the 24-year-old was awaiting trial in the U.S.S.R. as a “social parasite.” His friends had hoped a diagnosis of mental instability might spare him a harsh prison sentence.  But instead he felt he was indeed losing his mind, and begged his friends to get him out.
The result, written in 1968, was “Gorbunov and Gorchakov,” a conversation between two inmates, which he apparently claimed to have overheard.
Finish reading here: http://bookhaven.stanford.edu/
Read The Moscow Times article here: http://tmt-go.ru/461989

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