Conversation with one of spectators
“I know why ‘Harlequin’, it’s for the help of his spirit. You could call the play in any other way, couldn’t you? And the costume is not that of Harlequin. It’s of The Poet! Pierette is his Muse. That’s so right! The Monkey is his inner demon, his sick and run-away heart! Isn’t it just like from Mayakovsky?”
And right there amidst roaring buses he started to read it out in Russian:
Not a single wail
Will escape my hard-bitten lips.
Bind me to comets
Like to horses’ tails,
And gallop me,
Tearing my flesh on the stars’ sharp tips.
When the soul drops the body, decides to leave it,
And comes to your judgment,
The Milky Way put up the gibbet,
And like a criminal, seize me and lynch me.
Do what You will,
Quarter me! and let me remain thus.
I myself will wash Your hands clean! I allow it.
Only do this
Take away that heinous,
Whom You’ve made my only and true beloved!..
Situation that might have happened
One of Harlequin’s biographies
400 years ago some actor asked to join a wandering minstrels company.
His appearance was rather interesting: ragged and patched robe, blackened face…
“Has he never washed himself?”, asked the ‘Father’ of the actors family
“No, he has burned”
“How comes that?”
“He had to fall from a great heights”
“What’s that on his forehead?”
“A horn shiver”
Actors cracked up together.
‘Father’ raised his voice and they fell silent.
“Thine eyes are sharp. Go thou on stage to-day and to-morrow. It is for spectators to decide.”
Spectators decided. The new actor was accepted in the company
“How must we call thee, horned creature?”
Who have you been? What was your name, a wandering actor? And why, just why you chose a devil’s name?..
Text: Anton Adasinsky
English text editor: Daniel Williams
Drawings: Frances Drewery
Photos: Elena Yarovaya, D. Adasinsky
Photo design: Elena Yarovaya