Anton Chekhov (Routledge Modern and Contemporary Dramatists) by Rose Whyman

By Rose Whyman

Anton Chekhov deals a severe advent to the performs and productions of this canonical playwright, analyzing the genius of Chekhov's writing, theatrical illustration and dramatic philosophy. Emphasising Chekhov’s persisted relevance and his mastery of the tragicomic, Rose Whyman presents an insightful review of his lifestyles and paintings. All of Chekhov’s significant dramas are analysed, as well as his vaudevilles, one-act performs and tales. The works are studied relating to conventional feedback and more moderen theoretical and cultural standpoints, together with cultural materialism, philosophy and gender reviews. research of key old and up to date productions, demonstrate the improvement of the drama, in addition to the playwright’s endured allure. Anton Chekhov offers readers with an available comparative learn of the connection among Chekhov's existence, paintings and ideological suggestion.

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Extra info for Anton Chekhov (Routledge Modern and Contemporary Dramatists)

Example text

Drawing conclusions is up to the jury, that is, the readers’ (Chekhov 1973: 104). His view of nature and the relationship between human beings and their environment was influenced by Darwin’s rejection of determinism, his demonstration that human beings do not have dominion over nature, but are subject to its laws and processes, like all other animals. Chekhov presents nature as indifferent, though human beings seek meaning in it as symbolic of eternal values of beauty and permanence. The processes of nature, the cycles of time are juxtaposed with the problems experienced by individuals at fixed points in space and time.

Gorchakov notes that Stanislavsky also emphasized the ‘naïveté of approach to objects’ as well as relationships, giving as an example The Bewitched Omelette, where the entire action is based around a series of characters 48 Plays and productions wanting to eat an omelette, but prevented from doing so until the complications in their relationships are resolved (1973: 224). Vaudeville, in Russian theatre, ‘formed a bridge between Russian neoclassical and realist drama’ (Karlinsky 1985: 277). Chekhov embraced vaudeville as a popular form and took from it its exuberant comedy, also its satirical comment and focus on the lives of ‘ordinary people’ rather than ‘heroes’ – that is, in Chekhov’s time, landowners, servants, merchants, the middle classes and artists – in the characters of his major plays.

Many Russian actors, such as V. N. Asenkova and V. I. Zhivokini, gained fame as performers in vaudeville and Chekhov wrote some of his plays for particular comic actors. Stanislavsky played in many vaudevilles as an amateur actor. He emphasizes the ‘realism’ of Russian vaudeville, in that it was situated in the contemporary social milieu and about ordinary people. The world of vaudeville is a perfectly realistic one but the most unusual incidents occur in it every step of the way … Characters in vaudeville are ordinary and realistic … Their only strangeness is their absolute credulity about everything.

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