Sergei Tretyakov

Sergei Tretyakov was a Russian poet, playwright, journalist and cultural worker. Born in Latvia in 1892, he first made his mark as a Futurist poet before World War I. After the 1917 Bolshevik revolution, Tretyakov found himself in the Far East of the country, fighting with the Red Partisans around Vladivostok. He only escaped by fleeing to China.

He returned to Moscow in 1922, where he joined the editorial team of Vladimir Mayakovsky’s LEF magazine. He also worked closely with the two most prominent revolutionary theatre directors, Vsevolod Meyerhold and Sergei Eisenstein. He created a series of sharp, agitational pieces for both these directors, but in 1924 he returned to China for eighteen months as Professor of Russian Literature at the University of Beijing.

From this experience he created perhaps his two most popular works, the play Roar, China! and the ‘bio-interview’, Chinese Testament. Both these works found audiences and readers not only in Russia but very widely across the world. His next, and perhaps most important play, I Want a Baby, was banned by the censors despite Meyerhold’s ardent support.

He scripted films, and worked intensively in the ‘Communist Lighthouse’ kolkhoz (collective farm) at the time of the First Five Year Plan (1928-32). It was during this period that he developed his theory and practice of ‘factography’, a method whereby the writer not only reported the processes of real life, but by his art expressed the historical significance and potential of those processes.

His international reputation grew steadily. He travelled to Germany, meeting many writers, artists and cultural figures, most notably Bertolt Brecht, with whom he became friendly and whose work he influenced decisively. Brecht even called Tretyakov ‘my teacher’. 

But this internationalism was dangerous at a time when Stalin was attempting to impose ‘socialism in one country’ and was preparing to unleash what became ‘the Great Terror’. Tretyakov was arrested in June 1937, accused of spying and sentenced to death. But he cheated the executioner’s bullet by committing suicide in September of that year.

Tretyakov was only rehabilitated in 1956 after Stalin’s death. Gradually, some of his works were republished and a few of his plays produced. It seems however that the present book is the only complete collection of his plays ever to be published.


I Want a Baby and Other Plays

Paperback, 444 pagina's

9781912894307 | Pub. date: August 2019
€24,99 Add to basket

Boek met harde kaft, 444 pagina's

9781912894314 | Pub. date: August 2019
€28,85 Add to basket

PDF, 444 pagina's

9781912894321 | Pub. date: August 2019
€9,95 Add to basket

Kindle, 444 pagina's

9781912894321 | Pub. date: August 2019
€9,95 Add to basket

EPUB, 444 pagina's

9781912894321 | Pub. date: August 2019
€9,95 Add to basket
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I Want a Baby and Other Plays
Catalogus 2019

Catalogue 2019

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