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Introduction of the ebook: Five Plays: Ivanov / The Seagull / Uncle Vanya / The Three Sisters / The Cherry Orchard

Đánh giá : 4.18 /5 (sao)

Review ebook Five Plays: Ivanov / The Seagull / Uncle Vanya / The Three Sisters / The Cherry Orchard

I don’t think that this translation is the one that I was familiar with and can’t recommend any one translation in particular.

Chekhov has a had a strange fate in English in that his plays – judging by revivals of Ivanov – seem to be more valued than his short stories. It seems as though Chekhov’s plays have tapped into a particular British nostalgia which doesn’t help us to understand his plays in their own context. Chekhov wasn’t a solidly middle-class Edwardian Englishman reflecting on a world I don’t think that this translation is the one that I was familiar with and can’t recommend any one translation in particular.

Chekhov has a had a strange fate in English in that his plays – judging by revivals of Ivanov – seem to be more valued than his short stories. It seems as though Chekhov’s plays have tapped into a particular British nostalgia which doesn’t help us to understand his plays in their own context. Chekhov wasn’t a solidly middle-class Edwardian Englishman reflecting on a world that had vanished after WWI, he was the grandson of a serf who through the business acumen of his grandfather was able to study to become a Doctor in late Tsarist Russia, an era of abrupt and uneven violent economic and social change.

During his medical training Chekhov wrote some one act comedies but moved on to become a writer of short stories. Later in his career he began to write plays as a sideline and his relationship with the actress Olga Knipper was important here. Reading the plays in chronological order you can feel the slow development of his style and voice, Three Sisters and Cherry Orchard are competent pieces but don’t in my opinion come close to being as powerful as his best short fiction. Then again perhaps I don’t have much of a taste for the theatrical. Though I’m oddly haunted that at the centre of Three Sisters is the maligned sister-in-law! …more

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