THE DRAGON BY EVGENY SHVARTS PDF

Has he got scales? He got scales. And them scales, tough, I gather? No, really, how tough? I see.

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Has he got scales? He got scales. And them scales, tough, I gather? No, really, how tough? I see. OK, I get the picture. Thanks, Cat. Are you going to fight him? Thanks much, Cat. What is it? This usually helps so much … Looks out the window. I do like her! And her father is smiling happily. You tricked me! The saddest part of this story is exactly that they are both smiling. Quiet now. Good evening! To dinner, to dinner, my dear friends!

Enter Elsa and Charlemagne. Good evening, kind sir and gentle lady. Good evening, young man. Your house — it was looking at me so invitingly, and the gates were open, and the fire was burning in the fireplace, so I let myself in.

I apologize. No apologies necessary. Our doors are open for everyone. Please, sit down. The table will be ready in a minute… What is it? Why do I get a feeling that you are… afraid of me? Have a seat, my friend. I like strangers. Where do you come from? I guess you had a lot of adventures along the way? You must be really tired. Do sit down. Why are you standing?

Thank you. You can have a wonderful rest with us. This is a very quiet town. Nothing ever happens here. Well, last week we had some very strong winds.

The roof of one house was nearly blown off. But this is not such a big deal, is it? Come, please. Of course. What about… the dragon? But… I was told that your daughter… Elsa. Mister stranger, sir… Lancelot. My name is Lancelot. You think so? Yes, nothing can be done here. We just had a walk in the woods, and we discussed everything so nicely, so precisely. I am sorry. Not in the last two hundred years. Before that, he was fought a lot, but he would kill all his adversaries.

Then he rips the horseman apart with his claws. Well, in time, they finally stopped going against him. Of course we did. He torched the suburbs and driven half the population mad with poisonous smoke.

I told you this is a great warrior. Please, do take more butter. Yes, I think I will. I need to restore my strength. So, I apologize for asking so many questions, but — nobody even tries to go against the dragon anymore? Oh no! Not at all! I assure you. When the town was under the threat of a cholera epidemic, upon the pleading of the town doctor he breathed fire on the lake and thus boiled it. The entire town drank boiled water, which saved us from the epidemic.

Was that long time ago? Oh no. What other good deeds did your dragon accomplish? He rid us of gypsies. But gypsies are very sweet people. But even in elementary school they taught us that these are horrible people. Why is that? They are vagrants by nature.

They are an enemy of any organized state — or they long would have settled down, instead of drifting here and there. Their songs are without courage, and their ideas are destructive. They steal children. They sneak everywhere. Now we have completely cleansed ourselves of them, but as recently as a hundred years ago any brunette had to prove he did not have gypsy blood in him.

And who told you all that about gypsies? Our dragon, of course. Gypsies would challenge him blatantly in the first years of his rule. That dragon of yours, what does he eat? Our town delivers a thousand cows, two thousand sheep, five thousand chickens and eighty pounds of salt a month. How else can it be? My guess is all the others are long gone. Let me tell you: the only way to get rid of dragons is to have one of your own.

All right. Do you know what the Book of Sorrows is? Now you will. Nobody touches it, but page after page gets added to the ones written before, added every day.

Who writes them, you ask? The world! The mountains, the grass, the stones, the trees, the rivers — they all see what people are doing. All the crimes are known to them, all the suffering of innocents.

From branch to branch, from drop to drop, from cloud to cloud the human sorrows reach the cave in the Black mountains, and the book grows with them. Who is this book being written for?

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THE DRAGON BY EVGENY SHVARTS PDF

In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content: Fairy Tale or Subversion? In an odd twist, however, after he kills the title villain, Lancelot disappears and a wicked impostor takes over the village he has freed. First published and performed during World War II, the original production diligently attempted to avoid governmental regulation by making all of the promotional material and design elements suggest that the titular dragon was Hitler. Unfortunately, the parallels between the German and Russian dictators were too strong and the show ran afoul of the censors. Stalin was an extremely paranoid person, and he used Soviet bureaucracy to zealously enforce a rigid set of artistic dictates known as socialist realism. Violating the guidelines could result in punishments ranging from repression of artistic material to execution.

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Censorship and satire in Evgeny Shvarts’s The Dragon

His father was a baptized Jew, his mother Russian. In he studied law at Moscow University , where he also became involved in theater and poetry. He was drafted into the army at the end of to serve on the front. After the Bolshevik Revolution he joined the Whites and served under general Kornilov. He suffered injuries and shell-shock during the storming of Yekaterinodar in , lost several teeth and acquired a tremor of the hands that plagued him for the rest of his life.

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Children’s Theatre, Shvarts, and the Fairy Tale

The actors portray actors, switching costumes and roles as the cast shrinks and the atmosphere grows thick with fear. There was no room for multi- or ambivalence in the Soviet art scene of the s. The tension between these countervailing forces not only makes the period and its art more interesting in analysis: it codes the art itself at every level. But he is a hero who reads: he is brought to the town by The Book of Complaints, a self-generating story of all the hardship and woe in the world, hidden safely off stage, out of the reach of dragons and totalitarians alike. The self-writing book is the greatest fear of a capitalist, a fascist or a dictator of any kind: it represents something inevitable about powerful ideas.

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Evgeny Schwartz

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