“Shakespeare The Russian” – Talk by Sir Tony Brenton, King’s College, Cambridge

Talk by Sir Tony Brenton, former UK Ambassador to Russia (2004-2008), Economic and Scientific Counsellor in Moscow (1994-1998),  and author of several publications on Russian culture.

What is the meaning, the importance and the attractiveness of Shakespeare for the Russians? Have the Russians created their “own” Shakespeare? What is the link between Shakespeare’s heritage, Russian history and the “Russian soul”?

According to Tony Brenton:

“Shakespeare is more than just British property. He is great enough to have been censored by Nicholas I and Stalin. In his richness and abundance, in his scope and diversity, in the way his words fall smoothly into your language, and his characters have found home on your streets and on your stage, he is at least partly Russian. I am returning his Russian facet to you!” (“Questions of Literature”, 2007, issue 4)

See the whole article (in Russian) here: “Shakespeare The Russian?” by Tony Brenton.

Sir Tony Brenton gave a fascinating and highly stimulating talk, describing Shakespeare’s profound influence on Russian music, poetry and literature, but most interestingly, also Russia’s great contribution to our understanding of Shakespeare, ranging from the works of Turgenev to the great 20th century poets: Pasternak, Tsvetaeva, Akhmatova, the music of Tchaikovsky, Stravinsky, Prokofiev, and Kozintsev’s brilliant film productions of Hamlet and King Lear.

Date and Time: 2nd December 2010, 7:30pm
Venue: Keynes’ Hall, King’s College, King’s Parade, Cambridge

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