Books: Comrade Windermere's Fan

SOVIET SCENE: Six PLAYS OF RUSSIAN LIFE (348 pp.)—translated by Alexander Bakshy—Yale ($4.50).

Translator Bakshy, onetime film critic of the Nation, chose his six plays as a cross section of Soviet dramatic tastes from the 1917 Revolution to World War II. As a cross section, U.S. readers may find them interesting. But as drama they are flat, stale and unprofitable. All but one are marked by an ironbound propriety of theme that is fatal to both their humor and their excitement.

Konstantin Trenyov's Lyubov Yaro-vaya, produced in 1926, gives a clear idea of the...

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