British and American Reception of The Red Laugh by Leonid Andreev

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The article deals with the English-language reception of The Red Laugh , one of the most well-known of Leonid Andreev’s texts both in Russia and abroad. As the examples of this reception, a number of newspaper and magazine publications, memoirs, translators’ prefaces, and works of fiction are analyzed. There exist several waves of interest in Andreev’s story. They could be explained either by the appearance of new translations or by significant historic events of the time (the Russian Revolution, World Wars I and II). Andreev’s critics in Britain and America place his story in a variety of contexts - historical, social, cultural, and literary. Some literary parallels are quite expected and seem to come from Russian sources (parallels with Gorky, Tolstoy, Chekhov, Turgenev), others are completely original and ‘indigenous’ to Britain and America (commentators of Andreev’s text see its resemblance with the horror and “weird” fiction of Poe, Hawthorne, Henry James, as well as with some works of war fiction, such as The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane). A wide spectrum of characteristics is given to the author of The Red Laugh ; he is perceived as a realist, expressionist, an author of horror and weird fiction, a symbolist, and a decadent.

About the authors

Ekaterina A. Markova

A.M. Gorky Institute of World Literature of the Russian Academy of Sciences; Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia

Author for correspondence.
ORCID iD: 0000-0001-5954-1440

PhD, Senior Researcher

25a Povarskaya St, Moscow, 121069, Russian Federation; 10/2 Miklukho-Maklaya St, Moscow, 117198, Russian Federation


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Copyright (c) 2022 Markova E.A.

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