In this eloquent and insightful book, an eminent critic examines each of Chekhov's full-length plays, showing how they relate to each other, to Chekhov's short stories, and to his life. Richard Gilman places the plays in the context of Russian and European drama and the larger culture of the period and, offering textual commentary and a discussion of stagecraft and dramaturgy, explores the reasons behind the enduring power of these works.
"(Gilman) has a greater affinity for Chekhov and a surer grasp of his dramatic innovations and method than any predecessor who has written on the subject in English.... (His) book will remain the one indispensable source on Anton Chekhov's plays that we have in English". -- Simon Karlinsky, Times Literary Supplement
"Richard Gilman has written a brilliant, thrilling, and modern work of criticism. He has done for Chekhov what Jan Kott did for Shakespeare. He has shown us that Chekhov could have written his plays yesterday -- that they are immediate, contemporary, and totally relevant for the times in which we live. I recommend this book to anyone who loves Chekhov". -- Andre Gregory
"This brilliant study ... is wonderfully stimulating to read. ... (Gilman) forces you to see Chekhov's plays in a fresh light, and makes you hunger both to read them and see them performed anew". -- Christopher Lehmann-Haupt, New York Times
"(Gilman) makes a deeply persuasive case for the universal humanity of Chekhov's characters and links the innovation of his historically underestimated craft all the way, bless him, to Beckett". -- Linda Winer, The Nation
"This book should change the way Chekhov is staged.... Gilman has written the best kind of criticism, alively reinterpretation that invigorates its subject by celebrating the potential of the imagination". -- Bill Marx, Boston Globe
"Gilman offers new and different ways of understanding, performing, and directing these plays". -- Eileen Fischer, Modern Drama
Yale University Press
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