Silhouette of a Destiny

The letters of Stanislavsky 1

Authored by: Anatoly Smeliansky , Arch Tait

The Routledge Companion to Stanislavsky

Print publication date:  October  2013
Online publication date:  October  2013

Print ISBN: 9780415535649
eBook ISBN: 9780203112304
Adobe ISBN: 9781136281853


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In August 1938, Vladimir Nemirovich-Danchenko was on vacation abroad when he heard the news of Stanislavsky's death. He met the funeral procession at the gates of Novodevichy Cemetery and, in a short, confused speech, amid the chorus of official utterances, Stanislavsky's comrade-in-arms came out with a curious expression. Before the open grave, he confessed he had no knowledge of “the deepest levels of Stanislavsky's worldview.” This was a strange admission, coming as it did from a man who, 40 years previously, had founded the Moscow Art Theatre jointly with Stanislavsky, who knew him with the unsparing knowledge not just of a friend and colleague, but of someone with a keen analytical mind, who for many years had passionately opposed him. That, however, is what Nemirovich-Danchenko said, and we have no reason to disbelieve him.

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