This essay locates Russian revolutionary agency in a scenographic solution, specifically in Lyubov Popova's constructivist set for Vsevolod Meyerhold's 1922 production of The Magnanimous Cuckold. Filtering Crommelynck's tragifarce (which dramatizes the consequences of imagined marital infidelity) through a filter of formalist staging and design that featured geometric shapes and linguistic signs enabled Meyerhold to treat provocatively the postrevolutionary themes of disillusionment, (mis)representation and individual consciousness in a collectivist society. Meyerhold's theatricalist mise en scène interrogated state-supported and non-state-supported theoretical principles of aesthetic, social, and individual constructedness The formalist theories of Viktor Shklovsky, who introduced the concepts of "Art as Device" and "defamiliarization" in Russia in 1917, and the thematically allied theories of Mikhail Bakhtin helped to frame and to spin this multifaceted discussion.


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pp. 183-203
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