Come you masters of war You that build all the guns You that build the death planes You that build all the bombs You that hide behind walls You that hide behind desks I just want you to know I can see through your masks. You that never done nothin' But build to destroy You play with my world Like it's your little toy You put a gun in my hand And you hide from my eyes And you turn and run farther When the fast bullets fly. Like Judas of old You lie and deceive A world war can be won You want me to believe But I see through your eyes And I see through your brain Like I see through the water That runs down my drain. You fasten all the triggers For the others to fire Then you set back and watch When the death count gets higher You hide in your mansion' As young people's blood Flows out of their bodies And is buried in the mud. You've thrown the worst fear That can ever be hurled Fear to bring children Into the world For threatening my baby Unborn and unnamed You ain't worth the blood That runs in your veins. How much do I know To talk out of turn You might say that I'm young You might say I'm unlearned But there's one thing I know Though I'm younger than you That even Jesus would never Forgive what you do. Let me ask you one question Is your money that good Will it buy you forgiveness Do you think that it could I think you will find When your death takes its toll All the money you made Will never buy back your soul. And I hope that you die And your death'll come soon I will follow your casket In the pale afternoon And I'll watch while you're lowered Down to your deathbed And I'll stand over your grave 'Til I'm sure that you're dead.------- Bob Dylan 1963
Thursday, August 1, 2013
Alexander Nikolaevich Ostrovsky: The remarkable life of Russia's greatest playwright | Russia & India Report
Portrait of Alexander Ostrovsky by Russian artist Vassily Perov. Source: press photo
“What a pity people can’t fly like birds.” These lines from a monologue by Katerina, the heroine of the play “The Storm,” are known to everyone in Russia, as is the name of the author, Alexander Ostrovsky, a dramatist and theater reformer. The Maly Theater, one of the country’s most acclaimed theaters, is even nicknamed the “House of Ostrovsky.”
Alexander Nikolaevich Ostrovsky was born on March 31 1823 in Moscow on Malaya Ordynka Street. In 19th-century Moscow, Zamoskvorechye, Ostrovsky’s neighborhood, was a distinct city with its own flavor. Its residents included merchants and tradesmen, and there were noblemen’s country estates. The district was replete with low private houses with yards and kitchen gardens, and church domes and bell towers were visible everywhere.
At night the windows closed with noiseless shutters; people made jam, pickled cucumbers, placed flasks with liqueur on the windowsills, and lingered over tea on summer evenings. They would go to sleep early while life was still simmering in the center of Moscow. The inhabitants of Zamoskvorechye became prototypes for the heroes of Ostrovsky’s early plays.
Ostrovsky grew up in comfortable circumstances. He felt drawn to writing early on, but his father envisioned him as a lawyer. After high school Alexander entered law school at Moscow University, but he dropped out of the program due to a quarrel with a professor and became a legal clerk, working in the Moscow courts until 1851.
The playwright earned his initial fame from the play “A Family Affair,” which was first published in 1850. This comedy about merchant mores not only drew favorable reactions (including from Nikolai Gogol), but it also “touched the people” – students read it aloud in taverns. But the Moscow merchants did not care for the work, seeing in it a caricature of their class, and they complained about the playwright. Production of the comedy was forbidden, and it could not be staged until 11 years later, but it played for another two decades with censors’ deletions.
Such a debut did not hinder Ostrovksky’s success as a playwright – his works were performed in Moscow’s and Petersburg’s renowned theaters, and Ostrovsky was a longtime contributor to the magazine, "Sovremennik"(The Contemporary), which published the gems of Russian thought at the time. Ostrovsky’s plays draw portraits of the lives of the merchant class, petty officials and petty bourgeoisie. He also wrote works on historical themes and one folktale play, “The Snow Maiden,” which Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov adapted into an opera.
Ostrovsky exerted a major influence on the development of Russian theater. It is therefore interesting that for much of his career, he earned little or no money from his playsbecause there were no mechanisms for compensating authors. In order to change this situation, define copyright and uphold compliance with it, the Society of Russian Dramatic Authors and Opera Composers was formed, and Ostrovsky became its president. He also insisted on the need for reforms in the Russian theater and participated in developing regulations for administering the troupes of imperial theaters and compensating actors. READ MORE
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