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Born in Russia, Arthur Adamov was educated in Geneva and Paris and wrote in French. His avant-garde and often political plays were grouped with the Theatre of the Absurd, but he felt that they were about life, and that life, while often difficult, was never absurd. This volume brings together his two major works in stunning translations by Peter Meyer, originally commissioned by BBC Radio.
Dead Souls is Adamov's dramatisation of Gogol's blackly comic novel. Mysterious entrepreneur Tchitchikov approaches the landowners and bureaucrats of a provincial town with the proposal that he will buy the 'dead souls' of deceased peasants, and in the process exposes a society filled with paranoia and corruption.
Motivated in part by his own communist sympathies, Spring '71 reflects Adamov's view of the Paris Commune in 1871. A rich and complex depiction of a city in the throes of major upheaval, it interweaves satire, history and tragedy to show how the stories of normal people influence- and are influenced by - the onward march of history.
About the Author
Arthur Adamov was born in Russia in 1910, but lived in France from 1922 and wrote in French. His playwriting took various directions through his life, with periods when he was unable to write due to depression. He was a strong supporter of Communism, and some of his plays are seen as belonging to 'Theatre of the Absurd'.