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Marya


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AT: Mariya A: Isaak Babel Pf: 1964, Italy Pb: 1935 Tr: 1966 G: Drama in 8 scenes; Russian prose S: Petrograd (Leningrad), 1920 C: 17m, 8fThe action focuses on two households, that of a Jewish speculator Isaak Markovich Dymshits, and that of a former Tsarist army officer General Mukovnin. Dymshits's business is suffering, because the crippled soldiers he employs to smuggle in his black market goods are having difficulty entering the besieged city during the civil war. He is also frustrated, because the General's flirtatious daughter Lyudmilla seems to welcome his advances but will not give herself to him. When a former lover of Lyudmilla is shot in a fight, she is accused of the crime. At the same time the General receives a letter from his older daughter Marya, who writes of the progress of the Revolution and says that she will not be coming home. This double blow affects the old man so deeply that he has a heart attack and dies. The Mukovnin apartment is taken over by a working-class couple, and everyone now looks forward to a better future.

AT: Mariya A: Isaak Babel Pf: 1964, Italy Pb: 1935 Tr: 1966 G: Drama in 8 scenes; Russian prose S: Petrograd (Leningrad), 1920 C: 17m, 8f

Based on his own experiences during the civil war, Marya was published but never performed during Babel's lifetime, probably because of his sympathetic portrayal of ‘negative’ and ‘reactionary’ characters. Intended as the first part of a trilogy, the play reflects the difficulties the older generation experience in adapting to the new Bolshevik order.

Subjects: Literary Studies (Plays and Playwrights).


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