The Only Hope of the World: George Bernard Shaw and Russia by Olga SobolevaThe Only Hope of the World: George Bernard Shaw and Russia by Olga Soboleva

The Only Hope of the World: George Bernard Shaw and Russia

byOlga Soboleva, Angus Wrenn

Paperback | July 25, 2012

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George Bernard Shaw is commonly regarded as one of the most controversial intellectuals of the first half of the twentieth century. Known for the ambiguity of his statements and the seeming inconsistency of his views, there was, nevertheless, one idea to which the British dramatist remained constant throughout his life: his long-term enthusiasm for Russia and his firm belief that the Russians would ‘give the world back its lost soul’. Moved by the Russian cultural tradition, he found inspiration in the morally charged writings of Tolstoy and Gorky, and sent a copy of his Back to Methuselah to Lenin. The Soviet utopia fascinated him, and he made a much-publicised journey to the USSR to see the results of socialist construction, remaining for the rest of his life an unrepentant advocate of Stalin’s policies. Focusing on detailed textual analysis, this book traces the Russian sources that contributed to the formation of Shaw’s literary style. By reflecting on these parallels, as well as by drawing on archive reports in the Russian and Western media, the authors attempt to establish the extent to which Shaw’s obsession with the socialist cause affected the evolving character of his dramatic output. The book also explores the enduring positive reception of Shaw’s plays on the Russian stage.
Olga Soboleva teaches Russian and Comparative Literature at the London School of Economics and Political Science. Her research interests are in nineteenth- and twentieth-century Russian and European culture. Her recent publications include The Silver Mask: Harlequinade in the Symbolist Poetry of Blok and Belyi (2008) and articles on To...
Title:The Only Hope of the World: George Bernard Shaw and RussiaFormat:PaperbackDimensions:8.86 × 5.91 × 0.68 inPublished:July 25, 2012Publisher:Peter Lang AG, Internationaler Verlag der WissenschaftenLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:3034307454

ISBN - 13:9783034307451


Table of Contents

Contents: Shaw and the Russian Anarchists, early encounters and shaping of Shaw’s socialist views – Shaw and Lev Tolstoy, personal correspondence and literary parallels in Shewing up of Blanco Posnet and The Power of Darkness – Shaw, Maxim Gorky and the didactic theatre; comparative analysis of Heartbreak House and Summerfolk – Shaw and the Bolshevik Revolution: the writer’s views on the Russian events of 1917 and his playlet Annajanska, the Bolshevik Empress – Shaw’s trip to the USSR in 1931 – Shaw’s last plays on the Soviet stage and his reception in Russia.

Editorial Reviews

«This is, in short, an excellent book: well researched, clearly written, and difficult to put down.»
(Matthew Yde, SHAW: The Journal of Bernard Shaw Studies, 33/2013)