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Write 13 page essay on the topic Intellectual's in chekov's work.Download file to see previous pages... He is modest and quiet, just like a girl!... He's simply wonderful." The memoirs f Maxim Gorky g

Write 13 page essay on the topic Intellectual's in chekov's work.

Download file to see previous pages...

He is modest and quiet, just like a girl!... He's simply wonderful." The memoirs f Maxim Gorky give us a modest and gentle and saintly Chekhov, too good to be true. In fact, not altogether true, according to Donald Rayfield's recent biography f Chekhov.

Rayfield gives us the well-known facts--the boy who lived in poverty, whose father was tyrannical, who became the breadwinner f his extended family by working at two vocations (doctor and writer), who at the age f 24 began spitting blood, the first sign f the tuberculosis that would claim his life 20 years later, the doctor who treated poor peasants without receiving pay, who visited penal colonies to heal or console plague victims, the famous writer f short stories and plays--but he also tells us f Chekhov's callousness when he tried to protect his privacy and f Chekhov's many sexual relationships with women (what for many was a surprising finding about the man who had, according to V.S. Pritchett, an unusually low "sexual temperature"). The Rayfield biography gives us a truer, more balanced portrait f a complex man but it doesn't make cool the warm feelings we have toward the writer whose compassion informs his art and whose plays--complex, ambiguous, difficult--continue to be popular.

What prods me to write about Chekhov is the American Repertory Theater's production, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, f Ivanov, which I saw in January, 2000. Ivanov (1887) is Chekhov's first full-length play--he had already written many oneact farces--written and produced before the four plays that give Chekhov his importance--The Sea Gull (1898), Uncle Vanya (1899), Three Sisters (1901), and The Cherry Orchard (1904). Four plays is a surprisingly modest number f plays on which to sustain so high a reputation. obviously, it's enough. Chekhov worked very hard at his playwriting, which, unlike his writing f short stories, did not come naturally to him. His notebooks and letters are filled with remarks on his struggle. A playful but accurate indication f his attitude toward the two kinds f writing in his comment: "Narrative is my legal wife and drama a flamboyant, rowdy, impudent, exhausting mistress." (This is a variation f his much-quoted statement, "Medicine is my legal wife and literature is my mistress.") Chekhov said he didn't recall a single tale f his that took him more than a day to write. he wrote short stories, he said, with haste and carelessness. His mistress, it seems, gave him more trouble and demanded more attention. My focus is Chekhov's mistress.

Ivanov was the A.R.T. debut f one f Russia's leading directors, Yuri Yeremin, who is Artistic Director f the Moscow Pushkin Theatre. Because Yeremin is a disciple f the Stanislavsky method f rehearsal and acting, and because Stanislavsky's Moscow Art Theatre was the company that gave life, and took life, from Chekhov's plays, my expectations were high. They were disappointed, although I must admit I never saw a praiseworthy production f the play. Ivanov gave Chekhov much trouble in the writing. he spent many years revising it. During the revising he made many comments about it to his friends, itself a painful experience for a modest man who rarely discussed his work. From these comments we learn that Chekhov wrote the play to satirize a Russian type, whose existential sickness was a Russian disease.

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