Laurence Senelick (auth.)'s Anton Chekhov PDF

By Laurence Senelick (auth.)

ISBN-10: 0333308824

ISBN-13: 9780333308820

ISBN-10: 1349179817

ISBN-13: 9781349179817

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I shall sprout eagle's wings, and won't be frightened by this blaze or the devil himself! Let the forest buro - I'Il plant a new one! Let someone not love me - I'Il fall in love with someone else! By means of rhetoric Chekhov is endeavouring to surpass his earlier dramatic statements. Both Without Patrir,nony and Ivanov centred upon somewhat outstanding individuals corroded by their own cynicism, self-doubt and reflective propensities. In The Wood Demon, those qualities re-emerge in Voynitsky, who, riddled with irony, finds the less complicated natures of Fyodor and Khrushchyov appealing; himself incapable of change, he 47 Anton Chekhov has to commit suicide, to leave the stage dear for the reversals of the last act.

Endings gave Chekhov a hard time: I've got an interesting plot (syuzhe/) for a comedy, but I haven't yet come up with an ending. Whoever invents new endings for plays will open a new era. Trite endings don't work! The hero either gets married or shoots hirnself, there's no other way out ... Each act I finish Iike a story: I carry on the whole act peacefully and quietly, and at the end give the spectator a sock in the jaw (to Suvorin, 4 June 1892). The development to be traced in his dramatic finales, from the suicides in Ivanov and The Seagull, the engagements in The Wood Demon, to the open-ended continuum of his 52 The One-Act Plays final masterpieces, is conspicuous in the one-acts as weIl.

4 Although his personal relations with Lentovsky, whom he credited with so me sense and ingenuity, were good, Chekhoy filled his newspaper columns with hilarious sallies at the mixtures of fustian and flash powder the director served up. He composed two absurd skits, Unclean Tragedians and Leprous Playwrights and A Mess in Rome (both 1884), which riotously flayed the entrepreneur's choice of material, stagecraft and actors. Basically Chekhov's complaint was that Lentovsky's extravaganzas compromised heightened realism with flashy trickery; they were junkfood rather than true nourishment for the imagination.

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Anton Chekhov by Laurence Senelick (auth.)

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