I Want a Baby and Other Plays

I’m delighted to hear that Glagoslav published a volume of Sergei Tretiakov’s plays, including “I Want a Baby!” in translation by Robert Leach and Stephen Holland.

Tretiakov was one of the most innovative and exciting playwrights and thinkers of the Soviet Union in the 1920s. I doubt that we would describe his work as feminist or even proto-feminist today, but he definitely had fascinating ideas about rethinking gender roles.

Back in grad school, I wrote a paper on this one. Here’s a description of the central character from this play: Milda Grignau, a woman at the center of Tretiakov’s text, is very successful in the public sphere: she is a specialist in agronomy, a respected member of the Communist Party, and a social organizer. She does not have a family and does not want one; what she does want is to have a child. The main conflict of the play revolves around Milda’s desire to give birth without getting married. She requires a man’s help in order to conceive, but protests against the tradition requiring women to be married before giving birth. “Having a husband isn’t important. What’s important is who produces the baby,” Milda Grignau proclaims at a community meeting called to discuss her abnormal sexual practices.

Order this book here: http://www.glagoslav.com/en/Book/1/208/I-Want-a-Baby-and-Other-Plays.html

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