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Published online by Cambridge University Press:  26 April 2010


A television documentary on speech therapy is visible on the screen. A logopedist (speech-defect expert) coaches a young man to overcome his stutter through hypnosis. “You will speak loudly and clearly, freely and easily, unafraid of your voice and your speech,” she instructs. The boy hesitates but finally musters the words: “I can speak.” Thus Andrei Tarkovsky begins Zerkalo [Mirror], his poetic film about personal memory and cultural trauma (conceived in 1964 and completed in 1974).3 The symbolism of this scene was impossible for Tarkovsky's Soviet intelligentsia audience to miss. The stutterer coming to speech allegorized the artist coming to free expression in Russia after Stalin, struggling to adapt to alternating intervals of liberating “thaw” and oppressive “freeze,” fluency and silence, in the period of de-Stalinization that Nikita Khrushchev's secret speech at the 20th Party Congress of 1956 set into motion. The crisis of the solo stutterer's speech in the film stood in for the larger emerging crisis of how to represent socialist reality, a world that once had been captured solely by socialist realism—that is, until Khrushchev deprived Stalinism of its status as real socialism and thus invalidated the basis of socialist realism.

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Copyright © American Society for Theatre Research 2010

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1. Benjamin, Walter, “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction” [1935] in Durham, Meenakshi Gigi and Kellner, Douglas M., eds., Media and Cultural Studies: KeyWorks (Malden, MA and Oxford: Blackwell, 2001), 4878, at 58Google Scholar.

2. Brooks, Peter, The Melodramatic Imagination: Balzac, Henry James, Melodrama, and the Mode of Excess (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1976 [reprint 1995])Google Scholar, at 56.

3. Tarkovsky, Andrei, Zerkalo (Moscow: Mosfilm, 1974)Google Scholar. For a history of the film, see Synessios, Natasha, “Mirror”: The Film Companion (London: I. B. Tauris, 2001), 1040Google Scholar. This translation of Mirror dialogue is from Johnson, Vida T. and Petrie, Graham, The Films of Andrei Tarkovsky: A Visual Fugue (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1994), 116Google Scholar.

4. Rumnev, Aleksandr, O pantomime: Teatr, kino (Moscow: Iskusstvo, 1964), 241Google Scholar. All translations from the Russian are my own unless otherwise indicated. I use familiar spellings for well-known names and Library of Congress transliteration of Cyrillic in all other cases.

5. Emel'ianov, B., “Videli li vy pantomimu?Teatr 2 (February 1963): 7181Google Scholar, at 71. Marceau's visit made ripples in the literature of theatre as well. Rumnev devoted chapters to him in his pantomime books, O pantomime and Pantomima i ee vozmozhnosti (Moscow: Izd-vo “Znanie,” 1966). See also Markova, Elena, Marsel’ Marso (Leningrad: Iskusstvo, 1975)Google Scholar; and Marceau, Marcel, “Mimodrama—dikhanie poezii,” Teatr 3 (1960): 190–1Google Scholar.

6. Rumnev, O pantomime, 240.

7. Author's interview with Il'ia Rutberg, 20 July 2009. On Aesopian speech, see Loseff, Lev, On the Beneficence of Censorship: Aesopian Language in Modern Russian Literature (Munich: Otto Sagner, 1984)CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

8. Corrigan, Robert W., “The Theatre in Search of a Fix,” Tulane Drama Review 5.4 (June 1961): 2135, at 29CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

9. Brecht's Mutter Courage und ihre Kinder premiered in Moscow with Yurii Liubimov's production at the Taganka Theatre in April 1964, after Brecht's return to the Eastern bloc from America. Brecht's status as a socialist persona grata put Soviet dissidents and apolitical avant-garde artists in a quandary: they admired his aesthetic nonconformism, but they disavowed the state's approval of his ideology. I am grateful to Anna Muza for pointing this out. The play was published in Russian as Mamasha kurazh i ee deti: Khronika iz vremen tridtsatiletnei voiny, trans. S. Apt (Moscow: Iskusstvo, 1957).

10. On silence in the postwar West, see Simborowski, Nicoletta, Secrets and Puzzles: Silence and the Unsaid in Contemporary Italian Writing (Oxford: Legenda, 2003)Google Scholar.

11. Part of this unease was a seemingly contradictory verbal explosion, especially in the case of camp literature after the publication of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn's One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich in 1962 at Khrushchev's behest. Artists wanted to talk, but they were unsure of the terms of their speech. For this reason, many popular pieces published or performed in this period wrestled with the question of what form and purpose the everyday and poetic language of post-Stalinism could assume.

12. I use the problematic term “deaf-mute” in this article because this still-used compound word makes more explicit the connections that exist in Russian between defectology and cultural production (“mute” was the word used to describe silent film, a prime pantomimic genre) and those that bind disability and racism or anxiety about alterity (“mute” etymologically invokes the idea of foreignness). See also n. 14.

13. Herdina, Philip, “The Manufacture of Silence (or How to Stop People Doing Things with Words),” in Semantics of Silences in Linguistics and Literature, ed. Grabher, Gudrun M. and Jeßner, Ulrike (Heidelberg: Universitätsverlag C. Winter, 1996), 29Google Scholar.

14. For the supposedly inevitable link between hearing loss and speech loss in the Soviet context, see Tumasheva, N., “Sovety roditeliam: Vozvrashenie slukha,” Zhizn’ glukhikh 2 (1958): 18Google Scholar. (Hereafter Zhizn’ glukhikh [Deaf Life] will be abbreviated as ZG.) Brueggemann, Brenda Jo supplies the audiological axiom in Lend Me Your Ear: Rhetorical Constructions of Deafness (Washington, DC: Gallaudet University Press, 1999), 115Google Scholar. On the topic of “silence as deafness,” consult Krentz, Christopher, Writing Deafness: The Hearing Line in Nineteenth-Century American Literature (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2007), 6778Google Scholar.

15. Author's interview with Il'ia Rutberg, 20 July 2009.

16. Emel'ianov, 71.

17. Povago, F., “EKTEMIM,” Molodaia gvardiia 10 (1962): 273–87Google Scholar.

18. Rutberg, Il'ia, Pantomima: Dvizhenie i obraz (Moscow: Sovetskaia Rosiia, 1981), 21Google Scholar.

19. Rumnev, O pantomime, 12–16.

20. Clark, Katerina, The Soviet Novel: History as Ritual, 3d ed. (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2002), 15Google Scholar.

21. See Povago; Emel'ianov.

22. Rumnev, O pantomime, 155–6, my emphasis.

23. Gil, José, Metamorphoses of the Body, trans. Muecke, Stephen (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1998), 107Google Scholar.

24. Rutberg, Il'ia, Pantomima: Opyty v mimodrame (Moscow: Sovetskaia Rossiia, 1977), 10Google Scholar.

25. The Anglo-American medical model is characterized by its search for a cure for disability. That said, while the Western clinic may have given lip service to the goal of a cure, the incurability of disability and defect guaranteed the perpetuity of the institution and the expert professions invested in treating it. Trent, James W., Inventing the Feeble Mind: A History of Mental Retardation in the United States (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1994)Google Scholar.

26. Sandomirskaja, Irina, “The How-To of Bare Life: A Story of O.,” Documenta Magazines 1–3 (2007)Google Scholar; online at (accessed 24 February 2009).

27. Defectology was institutionalized and practiced most famously in Soviet Russia by Lev Vygotsky (1896–1934), whose death coincided with the temporary death of the discipline. For an in-depth picture of the dramatic succumbing of defectology to the political pressures of high Stalinism at the end of the 1930s, see Knox, Jane E. and Stevens, Carol, “Vygotsky and Soviet Russian Defectology: An Introduction,” in The Fundamentals of Defectology (Abnormal Psychology and Learning Disabilities), vol. 2 of The Collected Works of L. S. Vygotsky, ed. Rieber, R. W. and Carton, A. S. (New York: Plenum Press, 1993), 610Google Scholar. During this period, Vygotsky and some of his colleagues came under attack, the research journal Voprosy defektologii [Questions of Defectology] ceased publication, and many defectology departments shut down. These are just a few telling examples of the effects of the party's campaign against defectology during the period 1930–6. For more on the earlier years of defectology, consult Burch's, Susan excellent survey of deaf education and culture: “Transcending Revolutions: The Tsars, the Soviets, and Deaf Culture,” Journal of Social History 34.2 (2000): 393401CrossRefGoogle Scholar. On defectology during and after the Stalin years, see Zaitseva, Galina, Pursglove, Michael, and Gregory, Susan, “Vygotsky, Sign Language, and the Education of Deaf Pupils,” Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education 4.1 (1999): 914CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed.

28. Zaitseva et al., 12–13.

29. In the imperative form, this is the title of a monthly ZG column from the 1960s.

30. On the subject of “gentle gesticulation,” consult ongoing debates in ZG about whether Soviet deaf citizens should use strong gestural language or whether it is too “vulgar” and unaesthetic a mode of communication to take place in public. See also the following article and subsequent issues of ZG: Geil'man, I., “Kul'tura mimiki—poniatie emkoe,” ZG 3 (1967): 20–1Google Scholar. In e-mail correspondence with me (16–17 March 2009), Michael Pursglove noted that during the Soviet period, “signed Russian (kal'kiruiushchii iazyk—[Galina] Zaitseva's term) is based on the grammar of the written/spoken language and is mainly used by hard-of-hearing people, by pozdnooglokhshie [the late-deafened] and the (of course hearing) interpreters on TV and elsewhere. Profoundly deaf people have great problems in understanding it. RSL [Russian Sign Language], with its quite different grammar from written/spoken Russian, was always used by profoundly deaf people outside classes and (as it were illegally) in class. … The term [RSL] did not arise until about 1990, devised by [Zaitseva]. … Many Russian Deaf people don't realise the gift they have, a fully-fledged language in its own right, these days termed Rossiiskii [Russian national rather than ethnic Russian]) zhestovyi iazyk, and Russian TV inflicts ‘Signed Russian’ (kal'kiruiushchii iazyk) on them, which they don't understand.”

31. Burch, Susan, Signs of Resistance: American Deaf Cultural History, 1900 to World War II (New York and London: New York University Press, 2002)Google Scholar, 7, 168.

32. The degree to which deaf-mutes possessed a collective consciousness as a cultural and political group, what in the American context would be considered a “minority identity,” requires further investigation. Susan Burch has argued that the unique position of deaf Soviets under Stalin allowed them a style of ideological freedom that was not enjoyed by any other population, such that they were able to offer critiques of the state at the height of the purges. That freedom, of course, can only be considered partial when one takes into account the mass arrests and executions of Russian Sign Language users in 1937 based on Stalin's suspicion that the deaf were conducting an oppositional conspiracy in sign. Even so, the deaf towns and workers’ faculties would surely have contributed to a sense of cultural particularity among their members. See Burch, “Transcending Revolutions”; and Silianova, Elena, “Russian Deaf Towns,” in The Deaf Way II Reader: Perspectives from the Second International Conference on Deaf Culture, ed. Goodstein, Harvey (Washington, DC: Gallaudet University Press, 2007), 189–92Google Scholar.

Still, as Pursglove has commented apropos of the approach of the postcommunist Moscow Bilingual School for the Deaf, many deaf Russians have a limited idea of what Russian deaf culture entails. Indeed, as a consequence of deaf theatrical participation during the Soviet period, “many, for example, believe that ‘deaf culture’ means clowns and mimes and not much more.” E-mail correspondence with Michael Pursglove, 17 March 2009.

33. Baldwin, Stephen C., Pictures in the Air: The Story of the National Theatre of the Deaf (Washington, DC: Gallaudet University Press, 1993), 65Google Scholar. The history of TMG and deaf theater is available on the TMG Web site at

34. See ibid., 66. Similar impressions are recounted by Bernard Bragg, an NTF star whose popularity in Russia preceded his performances with TMG in the 1970s.

35. Berson, Jessica, “Performing Deaf Identity: Toward a Continuum of Deaf Performance,” in Bodies in Commotion: Disability and Performance, ed. Sandahl, Carrie and Auslander, Philip (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan, 2005), 51Google Scholar.

36. Zaitseva, Galina, “O zhestovom iakyke teatra glukhikh (nabliudeniia i razmyshleniia),” in idem, Zhest i slovo: Nauchnye i metodicheskie stat'i (Moscow: n.p., 2006), 341–5Google Scholar, at 341, 343.

37. Brudnyi, Dmitrii, “Mimika i zhest,” Teatr 11 (November 1971): 3743, at 38Google Scholar.

38. Leonid, L., TMG director, quoted in V edinom stroiu 10 (1972): 20–1Google Scholar.

39. See the laudatory reviews of Twelfth Night: “Shekspir ’zazvuchal,’” ZG 8 (1963): 13; and Vartanian, E., “Glukhie sredi slyshashchikh,” ZG 11 (1967): 28Google Scholar.

40. The 1965 Soviet film Dvoe [The Couple], a love story between a deaf-mute girl, Natasha, and her unimpaired musician-admirer, Sergei, features a “ventriloquist” performance by TMG of the balcony scene from Romeo and Juliet. The camerawork instructively breaks down the components of ventriloquist performance for the unimpaired viewer. First, Romeo, with his back turned to the audience, signs to Juliet in the balcony. Subsequent shots frame Juliet in close-up facing the camera, her articulations synced to the speech of the female actor-announcer. The camera next cuts to this actor-announcer as she sits in the first row with the male actor-announcer, each with microphone in one hand, script in the other. The final shots focus on the actors’ quickly signing hands and the shadows produced on the set by their motion.

41. Polonskii, L., “Otvetsvennost’ pered vremenem,” ZG 12 (1968): 10Google Scholar; and Korotkov's, A. review of TMG, originally printed in ZG 8 (1971): 1415Google Scholar, reprinted in V. Palennyi and V. Skripov, “Teatr mimiki i zhesta,” in idem, Istoriia Vserossiskogo obshchestva glukhikh [History of the All-Russian Society of the Deaf], vol. 2 (Moscow: VOG, forthcoming).

42. Balashova, N., “Kogda zanaves podniat,” ZG 10 (1971): 19Google Scholar. Balashova was the editor-in-chief of the journal Teatral'naia zhizn’ [Theatre Life].

43. Chion, Michel, The Voice in Cinema (New York: Columbia University Press, 1999), 18Google Scholar.

44. Brudnyi, 39. As one ASD publication put it, “The soundless speech of the [deaf] performers was dubbed with great mastery by the actor-announcers.” Isaev, I. A., V stroiu edinom: Kollektivnyi sbornik (Moscow: Sovetskaia Rossiia, 1988), 56Google Scholar. Dubbing, the common practice for foreign-language films in Soviet Russia, formed part of the country's complex oralism. Since subtitles made movies more accessible to a nonhearing audience, ZG included reviews of subtitled films in the late 1950s and 1960s. See Shapovalov, S., “Fil'my est’, no … my ikh ne vidim,” ZG 4 (1959): 14Google Scholar.

45. Brudnyi, 38.

46. Ibid. In Dvoe, Natasha is embarrassed by her inability to synchronize gymnastic exercises with the rhythm of the hearing pianist's accompaniment during rehearsal, so she throws her boyfriend out of the practice hall to be alone with her “defect.” The July 1965 issue of ZG contains a plot synopsis and reviews supplied by deaf readers, who find the film interesting even as they criticize the female lead's muteness as unbelievable.

47. Zaitseva, 344.

48. Schweik, Susan M., The Ugly Laws: Disability in Public (New York and London: New York University Press, 2009), 47Google Scholar.

49. Vygotsky promoted this cross-pollination from the outset by making actors the subject of his psychological essays and using the tools of dramatic practice in his work in abnormal child psychology. Neva Virginia Cramer, “Literacy as a Performing Art: A Phenomenological Study of Oral Dramatic Reading” (Ph.D. diss., Louisiana State University, 2003); online at…/Cramer_dis.pdf (accessed 1 February 2010).

50. Bulgakova, Oksana, Fabrika zhestov (Moscow: Novoe literaturnoe obozrenie, 2005), 206Google Scholar.

51. Polonskii, L., “Spektakl’, sozvuchnyi vremeni,” ZG 8 (1970): 89, at 9Google Scholar.

52. Consider this TMG actor's self-appraisal two years into the studio's revival: “We are looking for new expressive colors of the language of gesture, and our mimicry is far from perfected”; Karychev, V., “Teatr v puti,” ZG 1 (1967): 1819Google Scholar, at 19.

53. The negative review continues: the troupe cannot send up the improper bourgeois ideals of the play's antagonists because of the “unintelligible articulation of the performers, whose manual alphabet and signs are unclear. There is a lot that even the deaf viewer does not understand.” Polonskii, “Spektakl’, sozvuchnyi vremeni,” 9.

54. Deaf Life also recommended film as a form of oralist pedagogy that taught facial mimicry and pronunciation. Khvatsev, M., “Kino uchit proiznosheniiu,” ZG 12 (1958): 23Google Scholar.

55. Kalugina, A., “Oni budut akterami: V teatral'noi studii,” ZG 9 (1959): 22Google Scholar.

56. Soboleva, L., “Zametki o rezhissure,” ZG 7 (1962): 1617Google Scholar.

57. Butler, Judith, “Performative Acts and Gender Constitution: An Essay in Phenomenology and Feminist Theory,” Theatre Journal 40.4 (December 1988): 519CrossRefGoogle Scholar, emphasis in original.

58. Andrew Parker and Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick paraphrase J. L. Austin in their introduction to idem, eds., Performativity and Performance (New York: Routledge, 1995), 1–18, at 5.

59. See Mitchell, David T. and Snyder, Sharon L., Narrative Prosthesis: Disability and the Dependencies of Discourse (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2001)CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

60. Ladd, Paddy, “Colonialism and Resistance: A Brief History of Deafhood,” in Open Your Eyes: Deaf Studies Talking, ed. Bauman, H-Dirksen L. (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2008), 4279Google Scholar, at 42.

61. Lane, Harlan L., The Mask of Benevolence: Disabling the Deaf Community (New York: Knopf, 1992), 43–5Google Scholar.

62. Sherry, Mark, “(Post)colonising Disability,” Wagadu 4 (Summer 2007): 1022Google Scholar, at 10.

63. Though there is insufficient space to treat this collocation of colonial logics here, a chapter of my forthcoming dissertation is devoted to the labile relationship between processes of racialization and productions of “speechlessness” in the post-Stalinist imaginary. I examine silent performances of racial subjectivity, particularly pantomimes of the early 1960s, such as Rumnev's Africa and Slavskii's The Sun Rises over Africa.

64. Bhabha, Homi K., “Of Mimicry and Man: The Ambivalence of Colonial Discourse” and “Sly Civility,” in idem, The Location of Culture (London: Routledge, 1994), 121–31Google Scholar and 132–44, respectively. In The Signifying Monkey: A Theory of African-American Literary Criticism (New York: Oxford University Press, 1988), Henry Louis Gates Jr. explores how racist Enlightenment philosophies of language, writing, and orality were used to justify colonialism and slavery.

65. Lane, 31.

66. Davidson, Michael, “Hearing Things: The Scandal of Speech in Deaf Performance,” in Signing the Body Poetic: Essays on American Sign Language Literature, ed. Bauman, H-Dirksen L., Nelson, Jennifer L., and Rose, Heidi M. (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2006), 216–34Google Scholar, at 217.

67. Lane, 27.

68. I have culled this characterization of the deaf-mute as anomalous and out of historical sync from Lubovskii, V. I., “Defectologiia,” in Bol'shaia sovetskaia entsiklopediia, ed. Prokhorov, A. (Moscow: Sovetskaia entsiklopediia, 1970)Google Scholar.

69. Zaitseva, “Istoriia Glukhikh: Predmet i ob'ekt,” in Zhest i slovo, 442–7, at 444.

70. Ladd, 50.

71. Zaitseva, “Osnovnye problemy teatra glukhikh,” in Zhest i slovo, 346–55, at 349.

72. Richard Schechner, Performance Studies: An Introduction (New York: Routledge, 2002), 233.

73. Bhabha, “Of Mimicry and Man,” 122, emphasis in the original. In her relevant essay, Irina Sandomirskaja casts “the deaf-blind child … as opposed to the ideal human being as she appears in the discourse of Soviet normalization … as an almost-the-same or as a not-yet-the same.” “Skin to Skin: Language in the Soviet Education of Deaf-Blind Children, the 1920s and 1930s,” Studies in Eastern European Thought 60.4 (December 2008): 321–37, at 331.

74. Bhabha, “Of Mimicry and Man,” 128.

75. Schweik, 47.

76. Sandomirskaja, “Skin to Skin,” 331.

77. Kotkin, Stephen, Magnetic Mountain: Stalinism as Civilization (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1995), 217Google Scholar, 220.

78. Yurchak, Alexei, Everything Was Forever, Until It Was No More: The Last Soviet Generation (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2006)Google Scholar.

79. Fal'kovich, El'ia Mordukhovikch, Iskusstvo lektora (Moscow: Gosizdat, 1960)Google Scholar. Deaf institutions also emphasized the centrality of “lecture work” to the building of communism; see Korotkov, A., “O formakh politicheskoi raboty,” ZG 1 (1961): 6Google Scholar.

80. Fal'kovich, 211.

81. Ibid., 259–60.

82. Murashov, Iurii, “Sovetskii etos i radiofikatsiia pis'ma,” Novoe literaturnoe obozrenie 86 (2007): 4763Google Scholar, at 59.

83. Kaganovsky, Lilya, “The Voice of Technology and the End of Soviet Silent Film: Grigorii Kozintsev and Leonid Trauberg's Alone,” Studies in Russian and Soviet Cinema 1.3 (2007): 265–81CrossRefGoogle Scholar, at 268, 265.

84. Armstrong, Tim, Modernism, Technology, and the Body: A Cultural Study (Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 1998), 233Google Scholar. As Yurchak has shown, the “external” aspect of an individual's speech act (its form) continued to be in tension with its “internal” or performative force in the post-Stalinist period. This distinction does not imply the “dissimulating subject” (Yurchak, 17) of cold war historiography who was privately dissenting while outwardly complicit; indeed, it need not presume that a socialist subject exists prior to discourse at all. Instead, the loosening relationship between form and content enabled a subject to “speak Bolshevik” while making “minute internal displacements” in meaning (Yurchak, 28).

85. Susan Burch has suggested that the Russian deaf person constituted the “ideal Soviet citizen,” what she called “the silent citizen,” who was eager to work (having not previously had the opportunity before the Revolution), who flooded into industrializing cities, and who was excited by the prospects of more systematic and geographically centralized education. Furthermore, the Soviet state counted on the greater “loyalty to the government [of the deaf] than ethnic minorities” because the deaf were not in touch with (by radio, for instance) and so could not have their political beliefs “adulterated by deaf America.” [The quotations in this footnote were transcribed by the author from a telephone conversation with Susan Burch on 14 April 2009.]

86. Siebers, Tobin constructs a similarly chiasmic model of disability in Disability Theory (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan, 2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

87. Kommunisticheskaia partiia Sovetskogo soiuza, Programma Kommunisticheskoi partii Sovetskogo soiuza: Priniata XXII s'ezdom KPSS (Moscow: Politizdat, 1974), quoted in Bogen, M. M., “Fizicheskoe sovershenstvo kak osnovnoe poniatie teorii fizichskoi kul'tury,” Teoriia i praktika fizicheskoi kul'tury 5 (1997): 1820Google Scholar, my emphasis; online at

88. Bogen, my emphasis.

89. The rhythm of work was a recurrent topic in Deaf Life, as in this article about the deaf factory: “Ritm sorevnovaniia/Ritm sozidaniia [The Rhythm of Competition/The Rhythm of Creation],” ZG 2 (1967): 1.

90. Bhabha, “Of Mimicry and Man,” 122, 125.

91. Kalinovskii, L., “K vershinam iskusstva,” ZG 9 (1963): 21Google Scholar.

92. Sapozhnikov, I., “Za novye formy,” ZG 2 (1958): 23Google Scholar.

93. Gorbunov, N., “Tvorcheskoe sodruzhestvo,” ZG 8 (1958): 20Google Scholar.

94. Smolenskaia, T., “Teatr tishiny,” ZG 2 (1958): 23Google Scholar.

95. Rakitskaia, N., “‘Bol'shaia pantomima,’ZG 10 (1958): 15Google Scholar; Sugarin, V., “Odnako nadezhdy ne opravdalis,” ZG 3 (1959): 15Google Scholar; Dagmarova, N. Ezer, “Pervyi opyt na novom poprishche,” ZG 10 (1958): 15Google Scholar. For positive and negative evaluations of Marceau, see Smolenskaia, 23; and Platov, A., “Zametki pristrastnogo zritelia,” ZG 5 (1960): 16Google Scholar.

96. Promoters of the deaf-mime thesis include Smolenskaia, T., “Ia uchus’ na volshebnika,” ZG 10 (1964): 15Google Scholar; and Grishin, B., “Na tvorcheskie poiski: Mysli o pantomime,” ZG 12 (1962): 19Google Scholar. Others, such as Platov, refused the notion that the deaf were more artistically blessed than the hearing.

97. This direction of deaf theatre was embedded in one of TMG's opening-year acts: Zhili liudi [There Lived People], based on Maxim Gorky's story “Starukha Izergil’” [The Old Woman Izergil’]. Again in 1972, a “pure” pantomime called Ocharovannyi ostrov [Enchanted Island] was scripted and staged by Evgenii Kharitonov, who was a protégé of Rumnev, the founder of his own School of Nontraditional Stage Behavior, and an underground gay author. This culturally complicated performance, at the confluence of queer, deaf, and avant-garde circles, receives greater attention in my dissertation. Finally, TMG's award-winning production of Kaprichos [Los Caprichos] in 1977 about the deaf artist Francisco Goya intimates the promise of a proud deaf theatre.

98. Derrida, Jacques, “From ‘The Double Session’ in Dissemination,” excerpts in A Derrida Reader: Between the Blinds, ed. Kamuf, Peggy (New York: Columbia University Press, 1991), 169–99Google Scholar.

99. Peggy Kamuf, Introduction to Derrida, Jacques, From “The Double Session” in Dissemination, excerpts in A Derrida Reader: Between the Blinds, ed. Kamuf, Peggy (New York: Columbia University Press, 1991), 169–99Google Scholar, at 170.

100. Siebers, 2.

101. Grishin, 19.

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