Irena Lukšić: An Anthology of Russian Dissident Drama, 1998.

Original Title: Antologija ruske disidentske drame

This book is unique in that its basic theme – Russian dissident drama – has been completely ignored both in the Croatian and in mainstream literary scholarchip. Credit for the fact that a book of this kind is first published in Croatia goes to the author of the anthology – with her selection, introduction and translation – Irena Lukšiæ. For more than a decade, she has been intensively studying the literature of Russian dissidents. Through her selection from the work of Russian dissident playwrights in the post-Stalin era, the author systematically shows what was banned in the Soviet Union. Along with works by political dissidents and works with political themes, she also selects art dissidents who were supporters of outlawed modes of art. This approach makes obvious whom was regarded as being of the true faith in the Soviet Union, and also proves that art has the capacity to survive and find its means of expression, despite the pressure exerted upon it by the powers-that-be.

Thanks to the Introduction in which the author provides a detailed review of the alternative scene in Russia from the end of the 1950s until Perestroyka, with a description of complementary circumstances in Russian cultural centres in the West, biographic notes on each individual author and a list of relevant literature, this book is an invaluable companion to the study of more recent Russian literature and drama. Through selection of works which lose nothing of their power with the change in the political system and the passing of time, this book has more than mere historical value. It is a very interesting contribution to drama literature.

The book was published thanks to funding assistance from the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Croatia and the author’s waiving of payment of her translating and editing fees.

Selected plays:
Venedict Yerofeyev: Fanny Kaplan or The Dissidents
Josif Brodski: Democracy!
Muza Pavlova: A Hand of Preference
Alexandar Zinovyev: The Kremlin’s Hand
Vladimir Kazakov: The Great Deduction, The Acrobat, Breaking the Habit
Vladimir Maximov: There Far Away, Across the River
Dimitri Prigov: An Introductory Word to the Collection
Vladimir Ufljand, The People