Cover image for The Cambridge companion to Chekhov
The Cambridge companion to Chekhov
Gottlieb, Vera, 1945-
Publication Information:
Cambridge [England] ; New York : Cambridge University Press, [2000]

Physical Description:
xxxiii, 293 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm.

Format :


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PG3458.Z8 C36 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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This volume of specially commissioned essays explores the world of Anton Chekhov - one of the most important dramatists in the repertoire - and the creation, performance and interpretation of his works. The Companion, first published in 2000, begins with an examination of Chekhov's life, his Russia, and the original productions of his plays at the Moscow Art Theatre. Later film versions and adaptations of Chekhov's works are analysed, with valuable insights also offered on acting Chekhov, by Ian McKellen, and directing Chekhov, by Trevor Nunn and Leonid Heifetz. The volume also provides essays on 'special topics' such as Chekhov as writer, Chekhov and women, and the Chekhov comedies and stories. Key plays, such as The Cherry Orchard and The Seagull, receive dedicated chapters while lesser-known works and genres are also brought to light. The volume concludes with appendices of primary sources, lists of works, and a select bibliography.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

Gottlieb and Allain gathered 16 international authorities to provide a scholarly collection of essays on Chekhov and his theater, a work that surpasses in scope the series volumes on Ibsen (ed. by James McFarlane, CH, Oct'94) and Beckett (ed. by John Pilling, CH, Nov'94). Eloquent essays provide details of Chekhov's life, epoch, and the Stanislavsky/Nemirovich-Danehenko productions of his plays at the Moscow Art Theatre. The most novel insights are from Donald Rayfield, Cynthia Marsh, and Gottlieb, who (respectively) bring forth thematic and formal confluences between Chekhov's plays and short stories; explore the treatment of women heroines; and favor the playwright's comedic rather than tragic intentions (using Chekhov's letters as support, Gottlieb insists on the preponderance of the Tartufian hero, even though the public's reception of the playwright rarely confirms her Bakhtinian considerations). In a section titled "Chekhov in Production," Edward Braun unveils the fate of Platonov (published posthumously in 1923), and Laurence Senelick examines a production of Three Sisters, challenging the director's creative ambition "to orchestrate a fugue of moods and genre-pieces" out of the various components of Chekhovian mis-en-scene. A glossary of theater personages adds to Senelick's essay. A must for upper-division undergraduates and serious scholars, this companion is absolutely indispensable for those staging or adapting Chekhov's plays. D. Z. Hutchins Buena Vista University

Table of Contents

List of illustrations
Notes on contributors
Chekhov: a chronologyPaul Allain
Editorial notes: transliteration and titles, calendar dates
Part I Chekhov in Context
1 Dr Chekhov: a biographical essayAlexander Chudakov
2 Chekhov and his RussiaEmma Polotskaya
3 Chekhov and the Moscow Art TheatreAnatoly Smeliansky
Part II Chekhov in Production
4 From Platonov to PianoEdward Braun
5 Chekhov's one-act plays and the full-length playsVera Gottlieb
6 Ivanov: the invention of a negative dramaturgyPatrice Pavis
7 The Seagull: an adaptationThomas Kilroy
8 Notes from a director: Leonid Heifetz on UncleVanya Leonid Heifetz
9 Notes from a director: Trevor Nunn on Three SistersTrevor Nunn
10 The Cherry OrchardEdward Braun
11 Acting Chekhov: 'A Friend to the Actor'Ian McKellen
12 The scenography of ChekhovArnold Aronson
13 Chekhov on screen Philip French
14 Chekhov on the Russian stageTatiana Shakh-Azizova
15 Directors' ChekhovLaurence Senelick
Selected glossaryLaurence Senelick
Part III Chekhov the Writer
16 Chekhov's stories and the playsDonald Rayfield
17 The stage representation of Chekhov's womenCynthia Marsh
18 Chekhov's comedyVera Gottlieb
Appendix A Chekhov's works: primary sources from the Russian: variations of English titles
Appendix B Select stage productions
Appendix C Select screen versions
Select bibliography