Philosophy of the Popular Theatre
The red line of the Revolution divided the world into the “old” and the “new.” There is no corner of human life through which this line has not passed, and there is no person who has not felt it in one way or another. The sharp line of the Revolution dramatically shaped the following three categories: people who want to remain in the past and defend this past (as far as taking up arms); people who accept the new and also defend this new (as far as taking up arms); and those who “passively adapt,” waiting for the results of the struggle between the rst two groups. The corporeal, spiritual, emotional, and intellectual sides of human life have all been stirred by the hurricane the likes of which has never been seen in the history of the Earth. Its whirlwind is spreading the ‚ames of destruction further and further, wider and wider. Mankind’s dilapidated structures are burned to the ground. The area enveloped in the ‚ames of renewal is growing. Yet there are still naive people hoping some re brigade would arrive to put out the ‚ames that have smoldered for centuries in the people’s core. They still fancy they
see instigators, and they are still waiting for these rebels to be caught, and the former prosperity to return (with the French rolls). If they only took the trouble to look at the pages of books that, instead of telling the history of the tsars, talk about the life of the many-faced being whose name is the People. They are the ones who, with their own hands, raise an individual to the summit of life, or bring death to those who break from them. It is they who unseal the crater of their boundless soul expelling lava that has accumulated over centuries of menacing silence. You mistook this silence for thoughtlessness! Your loud prosperity alongside their silent poverty seemed to you as it should be. Now they have screamed. Now they have broken the thick silence. They let out a cry into the world. Their cry is lava; their cry is re. Revolution is their cry. When the Revolution turns toward us its hurricane steps, its red-hot
footprints burning the line that divides the world into “before” and “after,” how can She leave the heart of the artist untouched? How can the artist’s ear, having heard the cry into the world, fail to recognize whose cry it is? How can the artist’s soul help feeling that the “new” he has just created has become “old” no sooner than She [Revolution] made her rst step? If something created in the old world is beautiful, it must be brought to the people, for the people broke their silence precisely because things beautiful were always kept from them, for they are now demanding the return of what was taken from them. Mankind does not have a single truly great work of art that is not the incarnate nish of the people’s creative powers, for the artist always overhears the truly great in the people’s soul. When the Revolution comes, and it comes when all that is truly
beautiful in all spheres of life becomes the domain of the few-this means that the People demand the return of their own. The artist has no need to fear for his creations: if they are truly beautiful, the people themselves will preserve and take care of them. The People possess this extraordinary sensitivity. It is the artist’s duty to do this. But that is not all. If the artist wants to create the “new,” to create after the Revolution
arrives, he must create “together” with the People. Not for them, not for the sake of them, not outside of them, but together with them. In order to create the new and be victorious, the artist must have his Antaeus’ Earth. The People are this earth. Only the People create; only they carry both the creative power and
the kernel of future creation. The artist who does not draw on this power and seek this kernel commits a sin before his own life. The soul of the artist must meet the soul of the people, and if the artist beholds in the People the word of their soul, then their meeting will produce a truly popular creation; that is the truly beautiful.