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Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. The Four Major Plays: One of the world’s great masters of the short story, Anton Chekhov wrote about everyday life as he saw it – with humor, insight, and honesty.
In this lies his genius: He portrayed the Russian people as they really were, not as he wanted them to be. Paperbackpages.
The Four Major Plays: The Seagull / Uncle Vanya / Three Sisters / Cherry Orchard
Published October 7th by Cschov R. Dee Publisher first published To cecgov what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about The Four Major Playsplease sign up. Lists with This Book. This edition has a good, thorough, introduction as well as a very useful note on the translation. As Frayn puts it in the note on the translation knowing Russian and being a playwright is an advantage in translating Chekhov’s plays, and who would have thought that – an amazing idea.
Reading the plays for the first time in many years, the irony comes through very strongly, but maybe that’s just one of the strengths of this translation which, in British English at least, comes across as easy and na This edition has a good, thorough, introduction as well as a very useful note on the translation.
Reading the plays for the first time in many years, the irony comes through very strongly, but maybe that’s just one of the strengths of this translation which, in British English at least, comes across as easy and natural sounding.
Il gabbiano (the seagull – la mouette). Tribute to Cechov
A difficulty in translating Chekhov, which Frayn explains very well in his note on the translation, is dealing with the politics of Imperial Russia, particularly with those student characters who have been kicked out or sent down cecbov some kind of political offence or other.
These kind of difficulties are perhaps, happily, insurmountable. The experience is too alien from our political reality. But perhaps without that political edge one is left only with the droll amusement of characters at rest and who don’t work idolising the engagement and process of work which is crushing, absorbing and chewing up the other characters who can only dream of rest. View all 6 comments.
Dec 31, J. December of Dramadays Let’s tackle these one by one. Seagull “You feared a lonely death Like a lake leaves you alone in her depths. But I think what’s lost in the conversation is the content, the ideas he incorporated in the plays themselves.
There is a personally resonant kind of pessimi December of Dramadays Let’s tackle these one by one. There is a personally resonant kind of pessimism that lurks between the lines, or comes right out in the open, and yes he probably owed a lot of this to Schopenhauer but all the same it seems to have been proved out by time. In some lines see Cherry Orchard, below he seems to bemoan the destruction of the environment, but in others he seems to long for the day when life has been extirpated from the earth and silence reigns.
Uncle Vanya “I feel guilty being alive While so many beautiful people have died I never thought that we wouldn’t rule the world I always think we will I keep my fist clenched still. Here, it just goes off, and the person apparently misses. And as the introduction attributes a quote to a Russian director: It also follows a pattern that emerges in these four “major” plays, in that some kind of violence punctuates the drama in the final act.
This isn’t revolutionary of course, and I know that some others call Chekhov’s stuff boring or depressing, but if you know what to look for there’s a definite tension the whole time, steadily rising until the climax. I happen to really enjoy his vechov, I’ve discovered– their style, structure, and content. There, see, I can name them! Aside from that, this play didn’t leave too much of an impression, although I could recognize that the “violent climax” pattern repeated in the form of an out-of-control fire, and also a duel that kills off a potential suitor, who was going to sweep one of the sisters away and provide some direction to cecgov life.
All of the sisters seem to be struggling with that, an aimlessness or insecurity about their choices. Cherry Orchard “Don’t look ahead, there’s stormy weather Another cecho in our way But if we go, we go together Our hands are tied here if we stay.
I’m fairly sure I read it before, because the revelation and the resolution at the gabbiaon seemed very familiar.
I can picture Russian audiences in tears at the end, because even I come close to that. It dramatizes a pain we’ve all experienced, and captures perfectly both the dread and joy in letting go of something. In other words, it’s really about the power of time, its dual capacity to destroy and renew.
Every day we are losing something we can never regain. If the final act of this doesn’t affect you, your heart is probably made of stone. He created drama out of true-to-life moments, only to occasionally pull the veil and address those unspoken truths that lie beneath.
Il gabbiano (VHS tape, ) 
And this edition is brilliant, for the positioning of the plays themselves, as well as the notes. I can’t speak to the quality of the translation but I’d recommend this volume to anyone into Russian literature.
I’m not honestly “rating” a set of plays by Chekhov—it seems almost futile to rate a set of plays by Chekhov, like my 1 star or 5 star review is going to make or break his reputation.
However, I do want to give someone the translation gabbizno that I was scouring the internet for, so I need a placeholder rating for this review. Side-by-side comparison of an early monologue in The Three Sisters from Senelick and Rocamora no spoilersplus a few additional lines that stood out to me when I was I’m not honestly “rating” a set of plays by Chekhov—it seems almost futile to rate a set of plays by Chekhov, like my 1 star or 5 star review is going to make or break his reputation.
Side-by-side comparison of an early monologue in The Three Sisters from Senelick and Rocamora no spoilersplus a few additional lines that stood out to me when Gabbixno was reading both translations side-by-side also selected from early in the play, so no spoilers.
Neither edition was perfect. I ended up borrowing pieces of both translations to put together a natural-sounding monologue for a class.
Darling Ivan Romanich, I understand everything now. A man must work, he must work by the sweat of his brow, whoever he may be, and this and this alone is his reason for his being, his happiness, his ecstasy. How noble it is to be a humble workman, who rises at the break of dawn and smashes stones by the roadside, or a shepherd, or an engine driver on the railroad Merciful God, let alone a human being, better to be an ox, a humble horse, even, if only to work, better than than a young lady, who gets up at noon each day, who drinks coffee in bed, who takes two hours to get dressed The way one thirsts for water on a sweltering day, so do I thirst for work.
And if I don’t rise early each day and work, then deny me thy friendship, Ivan Romanich.
Gabbiani. Studio su ‘Il gabbiano’ di Anton Cechov () – IMDb
Dear Ivan Romanych, I know everything. A person cfchov to work hard, work by the sweat of his brow, no matter who he is, and that’s the only thing that gives meaning and purpose to his life, his happiness, his moments of ecstasy. Wouldn’t it be great cehcov be a manual laborer who gets up while it’s still dark out and breaks stones on the road, or a shepherd, or a schoolteacher, or an engineer on the railroad My God, what’s cechof point of being human? You might as well be an ox, an ordinary horse, so long as you’re working, rather than a young woman who gets up a t noon, has her coffee in bed, and takes two hours to dress Sometimes when the weather’s sultry, the way you long for a drink; well, that’s the way I long for work.
Rocamora’s phrasing preserves some of Chekhov’s poetic rhythm in this line, and thereby also conveys something about Ceechov By leaving out this meta-information we can glean from word choice, Senelick leaves out some information about Irina, too. For the same reason, Rocamora’s slightly flowerly “deny me thy friendship, Ivan Romanich” makes sense to me: As a devotee of more literal translations preserving participles, poetics, etc.
For example, later in this scene Senelick’s translation of Olga’s line, “How fabbiano inappropriate! Senelick’s edition includes a helpful note that a samovar is usually an anniversary gift from husband to wife: Overall, Senelick’s strength is in the natural flow is his translation, but sometimes he veers into being almost too casual.
His “wouldn’t it be great to be Something about “wouldn’t it be great” just doesn’t sound right to me I would go for, “wouldn’t it be noble to be Irina isn’t suggesting she will actually be pursuing a career in manual labor or that it’s something she’d really enjoy doing; she’s an upperclass girl romanticizing the humble worker in the way we often romanticize “the noble poor” or “the noble savage. So, from a few lines, this seems like an almost futile analysis: You would ggabbiano to do a line-by-line breakdown of an entire play to get a real sense of who is the overall “better” translator, and not just 14 lines from a single play in a large compilation.
And in all fairness, there are moments where neither translator really captures the moment: However, the reason I prefer Rocamora’s translation is this tiny, tiny moment: That’s the sort of decision to discuss in a literary class with a teacher who knows some Russian, not great for cecbov a play. And that, in my opinion, is the problem with Senelick.
One of his real strengths is the overall clarity of his translation: It’s a clumsy balance between being sometimes too literal angel mine to perform and sometimes cechvo loose for a serious academic interpretation, or even a serious theatrical interpretation.
To its merit, the Senelick edition does come with some very nice notes, essays and letters that make the play more intelligible, which is enormously helpful, both for a class or a role. I would recommend checking out or even owning a copy of the Senelick cexhov this reason alone. I’m probably going to end up owning two or three copies of these plays, but if you are looking for an easy introduction to Chekhov, I would go with the Senelick. Here’s one more little note: The play is filled with moments like this, where Senelick will add in just a little line or word that made me go, “Oh, so that’s cecov this means.
If I weren’t such a stickler for translation, I would make Senelick my “reading for pleasure” edition. Hoping to get my hands on a translation by Frayn as well!
Don’t quote me on that. Feb 20, Matt rated it it was amazing Shelves: These plays move gabhiano in a way which I can’t describe. Or, rather, I probably could but it would be endless and personal and boring.