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David Magarshack
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Konstantin Stanislavsky is one of the colossi not simply of Russian, but American and European theatre. The works of the creator of the Stanislavsky System – which later gave rise to the Method – have tended to shroud him in mystique, leading his followers to revere him as a saint and his detractors to dismiss him out of hand. As Irving Wardle says in his foreword to this edition (1986), David Magarshack’s biography – first published in 1950 – offers ‘a vigorous, highly readable narrative that succeeds in demystifying the working of the Moscow Art Theatre, and in removing Stanislavsky from his pedestal without cutting him down to size. To his autobiographical writings, Magarshack supplied the companion piece – A Life – and as such it remains unsuperseded.’


David Magarshack (1899-1977) was born in Riga, in present-day Latvia (Riga was then part of Russia). He moved to Britain in 1920 and became naturalized in 1931. After graduating from University College London in English Language and Literature, he worked in Fleet Street, subsequently becoming a published writer.Best known for his translations of Dostoevsky, he also published several novels, and…

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