Arthur Adamov

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Adamov, Arthur


Born Aug. 23, 1908, in Kislovodsk. French dramatist. Left Russia with his family in 1914; settled in Paris in 1924. Wrote surrealist verses in his youth.

When Adamov opposed the pro-Hitler Vichy government in 1942, he was put in a concentration camp. His novella Recognition (1946) is permeated with a sense of futility. His dramas Parody (published 1950) and Incursion (1950), which were written for the avant-garde theater, were extremely pessimistic, as were his plays A Major and Minor Maneuver (1953) and Everyone Against Everyone (1953). Social criticism can be detected in his comedy Ping Pong (1955); the bourgeois way of life is ridiculed in the farce Paolo Paoli (1957) and the sketch Intimacy (1958). His optimistic tragedy The Spring of’71 (1961, Russian translation 1968) re-created the heroic characters of the Paris Communards. Contemporary racism is the object of criticism in his grotesque play The Politics of the Outcast (1962). Through his treatment of medieval obscurantism in the tragicomedy Holy Europe (1966), he satirizes imperialism. Bitter humor characterizes the burlesque piece The Moderate (1968), whereas in the drama Off Limits, which Adamov wrote the same year, his humor acquires menacing overtones, reflecting the tragic atmosphere of the American way of life. The movement of Adamov’s aesthetic thought toward realism and his reactions to the innovations of A. P. Chekhov, B. Brecht, and S. O’Casey are reflected in the anthology Here and Now (1964). His life and spiritual development are treated in a volume of reminiscences entitled Man and Child (1968). Adamov is a member of the National Committee of French Writers.


Théâtre, vols. 1–4. Paris, 1953–68.
Lesâmes mortes: D’après le poème de N. Gogol. Paris, [I960]. In Russian translation:
“Paolo Paoli.” In P’esy sovremennoi Frantsii. Moscow, 1960.


Balashov, V. “Pobeda Artiura Adamova.” Inostrannaia literatura, 1962, no. 7.
Proskurnikova, T. Frantsuzskaia antidrama (50–60–e gg.). Moscow, 1968.


References in classic literature ?
Towards Spring, we were frequently harassed by Indians; and, in May, 1782, a party assaulted Ashton's station, killed one man, and took a Negro prisoner.
The Yanguesans, seeing themselves assaulted by only two men while they were so many, betook themselves to their stakes, and driving the two into the middle they began to lay on with great zeal and energy; in fact, at the second blow they brought Sancho to the ground, and Don Quixote fared the same way, all his skill and high mettle availing him nothing, and fate willed it that he should fall at the feet of Rocinante, who had not yet risen; whereby it may be seen how furiously stakes can pound in angry boorish hands.
de Treville nor the Musketeers to complain, but, on the contrary, for him, whose people the Musketeers had assaulted and whose hotel they had endeavored to burn.
After this crossing the youth assured himself that at any moment they might be suddenly and fearfully assaulted from the caves of the lowering woods.
As for Porthos, he assaulted the foe with such violence that, although his sword was thrust aside, the enemy was thrown off his horse and fell about ten steps from it.
And with his keen sword Endicott assaulted the hallowed Maypole.
In the course of it, New England suffered much injury from the French and Indians, who often came through the woods from Canada and assaulted the frontier towns.
I have required your assistance, my friends,” he cried, in a low voice, “in order to arrest Nathaniel Bumppo, commonly called the Leather-Stocking He has assaulted a magistrate, and resisted the execution of a search-war rant, by threatening the life of a constable with his rifle.
A third more violent Rap than ever again assaulted our ears.
Again, he assaulted a man of rubicund visage, and told him that few bosom serpents had more of the devil in them than those that breed in the vats of a distillery.
It would have taken a century, he repeatedly said to himself, and said also to Alice Staverton, it would have taken a longer absence and a more averted mind than those even of which he had been guilty, to pile up the differences, the newnesses, the queernesses, above all the bignesses, for the better or the worse, that at present assaulted his vision wherever he looked.
I had no doubt that the gang of roughs who assaulted me had carried off both my hat and the bird.