Walpurgis night, or The steps of the commander by Venedikt Erofeev PDF

By Venedikt Erofeev

ISBN-10: 0300159862

ISBN-13: 9780300159868

Walpurgis evening, by acclaimed Russian author Venedikt Erofeev, is taken into account a vintage within the playwright’s fatherland. Erofeev’s darkish and humorous five-act satire of Soviet repression has been known as the comedian high-water mark of the Brezhnev period. Walpurgis Night dramatizes the outrageous trials of Lev Isakovich Gurevich, an alcoholic half-Jewish dissident poet limited by means of the nation to a medical institution for the insane. In “Ward 3”—a microcosm of repressive Soviet society—Gurevich deploys his awesome wit and ingenuity to bedevil his jailers, guard his fellow inmates, protest his incarceration, and customarily create mayhem, which eventually ends up in a tragedy of Shakespearean proportions.

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Extra info for Walpurgis night, or The steps of the commander

Sample text

That I’m sprouting up and— PROKHOROV: Oh, to hell with the damn rhododendron. Look, imagine this, Vova. You’re a white swan perched on the shore of a pond, and across the way a Yid is sitting and staring at you. VOVA: No, I can’t imagine being a white swan either. That’s hard for me. I can . . I can imagine being a flock of white swans. PROKHOROV: Wonderful, Vova. You’re a flock of white swans, on the shore of a pond, and across the way— VOVA: Well, naturally, I fly off every which way. It’s scary.

René Descartes once said that— DOCTOR: (straightening his glasses) Name and patronymic? GUREVICH: Whose? Descartes’? DOCTOR: No, no, patient. Your name and patronymic! GUREVICH: Lev Isakovich. DOCTOR: (under his glasses, to the bespectacled Valentina) Make a note of that. VALENTINA: Sorry. A note of what? DOCTOR: Everything! A note of everything! Are your parents living? Why should you lie, Gurevich? Unless you aren’t Gurevich at all. So, I repeat, are your parents living? GUREVICH: Both are living and both their names are— DOCTOR: I’m curious to know their names.

Sharks can’t stand it. The minute a shark turns up, you pour a little ammonium acetate on your head and your girlfriend’s, and that’s it. The sharks won’t back down, and eventually they lose their empty heads. Well, they did lick my girlfriend’s calves in parting, but being jealous would have been ridiculous in that situation. Now when it came to Karakorum . . DOCTOR: What is today’s date? The year? The month? GUREVICH: What’s the difference? Days, millennia—that’s all so trivial for Russia. DOCTOR: I see.

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Walpurgis night, or The steps of the commander by Venedikt Erofeev

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