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My Life in Art 1st Edition

8 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0415436571
ISBN-10: 0415436575
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My Life in Art + Creating A Role + An Actor Prepares
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Editorial Reviews


'This wise and delightful book … is packed with sage, practical counsel to actors and actresses.' – The Times Literary Supplement

'The Stanislavski system of acting is good. What is better is the Stanislavski philosophy of art that believes in the infinitude of man ... Even those who are not primarily interested in acting will find in Stanislavski's writing an extraordinary illumination of art.' – The New York Times

"This vibrant translation assures that Staniskavski's memoir will be appreciated by a wide audience of Anglophone readers... Highly Recommended." – CHOICE

About the Author

Stanislavsky was the co-founder (with Nemirovich-Danchenko) of the Moscow Art Theatre, which took the international theatre world by storm when he began producing the plays of Anton Chekhov in 1898. (Nemirovich-Danchenko went on to set up the Moscow Art Theatre School, which is still running today.)

He is the author - with the help of his translator Elizabeth Hapgood, who also edited his scattered writings and became 'co-author' - of My Life in Art; An Actor Prepares; Building a Character; Creating a Role; and various other marginalia (put together, I suspect, postumously).

Jean Benedetti is the author of many books about acting and Stanislavsky, including The Art of the Actor (2005); Stanislavsky: An Introduction (2E 2004); and Stanislavsky and the Actor (1998). All these were co-published with Methuen and, I think, commissioned by them. Initially working as an actor, director and television writer, he turned to teaching and became the Principal of Rose Bruford College, still a highly respected drama school.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 488 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge; 1 edition (January 31, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0415436575
  • ISBN-13: 978-0415436571
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 6.2 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #91,458 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 11, 2000
Format: Paperback
"Love the art in yourself, not yourself in the art." Truly one of the world's greatest arts educators, Stanislavsky's autobiography is beautifully written. It is a fascinating portrait of the history of modern acting and also of Russian history. Absolutely key for understanding the Method, and the development of today's theater.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Kindle Customer on August 3, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Stanislavski's "My Life in Art" was written in haste during the Moscow Art Theatre's 1922-24 European and American tours and translated into a language he neither spoke nor understood by a mysterious individual (J.J. Robbins) with less than satisfactory credentials for the job. For nearly a century this has been the version available in English and for the most part anywhere in the world outside of Russia. But upon returning to Moscow Stanislavski continued to write and revise the book which was later published in Russia and considered by Stanislavski to be both definitive and the version he was satisfied with.

Thus, Jean Bendetti's new translation of the Russian version is a welcome and valuable gift, not only to actors and the theatre but to art and artistic endeavor in general. Much is the same as the original Engligh version in terms of content, but much is also new and different, never before available in English. Of particular interest are the appendices recounting Stanislavski's more personal memories of Chekhov and the later European and American tours.

An important aspect lost in the previous translation was Stanislavski's personal, conversational tone, which is how the book itself was written; i.e. Stanislavski spoke and what he said was scribed. Thus, a whole new feeling comes of this translation that is extremely valuable, if not priceless. It is nearly impossible not to feel that you know Stanislavski very personally after reading the book. Particularly in the last section (the appendix of the European-American tour) you feel as if he has spoken to you personally about the entire experience. As such the voice and personality of this great master speaks and can be discovered once more in a way that has previously not been possible.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on May 4, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Before writing his opus manual on acting technique, Stanislavski wrote an autobiography he hoped would detail his life and philosophy - but his publisher insisted on many cuts and changes to its length, resulting in a diminutive version Stanislavski hated - and completely revised for a 1926 Soviet edition. For the first time translator Jean Benedetti brings English readers this complete Soviet edition, pairing it with new photos and illustrations and creating a keepsake edition for any college-level collection serious about acquiring drama classics.
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Format: Paperback
Stanislavsky is still the most influential figure in modern or contemporary theater. In this book, he is open about his life especially the rough years in Russia, his first exposure to the theater, his first time at directing. He also writes about his professional relationship with another Russian, Anton Chekhov. He writes about his travels mostly in Russia such as his journeys to Petrograd, the Russian provinces that inspired many of Chekhov's plays, and of course his first journey abroad. The book is really for theater junkies like myself who would have loved to have been a theatrical actress or director but life isn't so bad. He has directed William Shakespeare's tragedies like Othello and Julius Caesar along with Chekhov favorites like The Cherry Orchard, The Three Sisters, Uncle Vanya and The Sea Gull. Stanislavsky also founded and developed the Moscow Theater Company. He did it all for love, not money nor fame. He became rich in so many other ways.
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