Gabriela Zapolska (1857-1921) was an actor, journalist and playwright. She was born during the 123 year partition of Poland by Austria, Prussia and Russia and wrote over thirty plays. "The Morality of Mrs. Dulska", a 'petty-bourgeois tragic-farce', is probably her best known. Mrs Dulska is a cross between Patricia Routledge's Hyacinth Bucket and Bertolt Brecht's Mother Courage. She is the tyrannical and hilarious landlady of a fine stone tenement building - proud, shrewd and highly preoccupied with appearances. Dulska keeps her purse strings tightly drawn and exploits her tenants in a most unforgiving fashion. To the unhappy woman from the first floor apartment who tries to poison herself by swallowing some match heads, she shows no mercy. To her serving maid, who she effectively prostitutes to her son in order to keep his philandering under her own roof and within her control, she shows no compassion. Her daughters struggle through the torments of adolescence with the facts of life skillfully concealed from them, and her husband, worn down over the years by his power-hungry wife, has barely a word to say to his family.
It is her son that Mrs Dulska loves - loves with an unhealthy possessiveness. Her fear that he will leave prompts her to fund the servicing of his every desire. Why is it, then, that he resents her so much? Why is it that he feels compelled to seek revenge? Zapolska's uncompromising look at gender construction and class oppression in fin-de-siecle Poland is witty, entertaining and incisive.
Buy Morality of Mrs. Dulska book by Gabriela Zapolska from Australia's Online Bookstore, Boomerang Books.
(229mm x 173mm x 12mm)
Publisher: Intellect Books
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Author Biography - Gabriela Zapolska
Teresa Murjas is a Lecturer in Theatre at the University of Reading. She specialises in late 19th/early 20th century European theatre and translation. She supervises student directors in her department as well as directing her own practice as research projects. She has also worked as a Lecturer in Theatre and a director at the University of Lodz in central Poland.