Thursday, November 18, 2010

Chekhov's genius will always elude us | Dan Rebellato | Culture |

Chekhov as contemporary hero/obsession:
But also, I think, Chekhov is a mystery. There are some playwrights who are so busily present in their work that it's like you have the author beside you murmuring comments on the action. Chekhov is different; what does he think of his characters? Does he admire them or pity them? Ask us to examine or ridicule? It's never obvious. Chekhov's characters tend to let their mouths run away with them (Gayev in The Cherry Orchard fills a silence with an idiotic hymn of praise to a bookcase that, even as he's saying it, he must regret). It's almost as if Chekhov lets silences form in his play, which his characters nervously fill and thus reveal themselves.
I have not read him as deeply as I should have done by now. But the idea of silences interests me.