By Harold Bloom
Chekhov used to be the prime Russian author of his iteration. This identify, Anton Chekhov, a part of Chelsea condominium Publishers’ glossy severe perspectives sequence, examines the most important works of Anton Chekhov via full-length serious essays by way of specialist literary critics. additionally, this name includes a brief biography on Anton Chekhov, a chronology of the author’s existence, and an introductory essay written by means of Harold Bloom, Sterling Professor of the arts, Yale collage.
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Additional info for Anton Chekhov (Bloom's Modern Critical Views)
But only in The Wood Demon, where there is no real change from ignorance to knowledge, could the outcome be stated in such round terms. Nobody's fortune at the end of Uncle Vanya is as good or bad as it might be; nobody is very conclusively loving or hating. Here again Chekhov is avoiding the black and the white, the tragic and the comic, and is attempting the halftone, the tragicomic. If, as has been suggested, the action consists in the effect of the presence of the Professor and Yelena upon Sonya, Vanya, and Astrov, we naturally ask: what was that effect?
A weakness of much realistic literature is that it deals with inarticulate people. The novelist can of course supply in narrative and description what his milieu lacks in conversation, but the dramatist has no recourse—except to the extent that drama is expressed not in words but in action. Chekhov's realistic milieu, however, is, like Ibsen's, bourgeois and "intellectual"; a wide range of conversational styles and topics is therefore plausible enough. But Chekhov is not too pedantic about plausibility.
Vanya is not dead or in the condemned cell; but he is not happy. To the Broadway script-writer, also concerned with the rewriting of plays (especially if in an early version a likable character shoots himself), these alterations of Chekhov's would presumably seem unaccountable. They would look like a deliberate elimination of the dramatic element. Has not Prince Mirsky told us that Chekhov is an undramatic dramatist? The odd tiling is only that he could be so dramatic before he rewrote. The matter is worth looking into.
Anton Chekhov (Bloom's Modern Critical Views) by Harold Bloom