Short Stories, Irish literature, Classics, Modern Fiction, Contemporary Literary Fiction, The Japanese Novel, Post Colonial Asian Fiction, The Legacy of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and quality Historical Novels are Among my Interests

Tuesday, June 13, 2023

Ivanoff - A Play by Anton Chekhov- first Preformed in 1887- translated by Constance Garnett

Ivanoff - A Play by Anton Chekhov- first Preformed in 1887- translated by Constance Garnett 

 NICHOLAS IVANOFF, perpetual member of the Council of Peasant Affairs
 ANNA, his wife.
 Nee Sarah Abramson
 MATTHEW SHABELSKI, a count, uncle of Ivanoff

MICHAEL BORKIN, a distant relative of Ivanoff, and manager of his estate
 AVDOTIA NAZAROVNA, an old woman 
GEORGE, lives with the Lebedieffs

This four-act drama was first performed in 1887, when Fiodor Korsh, the owner of the Korsh Theatre in Moscow, commissioned Chekhov to write a comedy. Chekhov responded with a four-act drama, which he completed in only ten days. 
 The play concerns Nikolai Ivanov, a man struggling to regain his former glory. For the past five years, he has been married to Anna Petrovna, a disinherited ‘jewess’, who has suffered greatly from illness.
Ivanov’s estate is run by a distant relative, Mikhail Borkin, who is frequently advising people on how he can help them make money. The doctor, Lvov, an ‘honest’ man as he likes to frequently remind the rest of the cast, informs Ivanov that his wife is dying of Tuberculosis and that she needs to recover by going to the Crimea. Unfortunately, Ivanov is unable to pay for the expensive journey, as he is heavily in debt, owing Zinaida Lebdeva 9000 roubles. Ivanov is criticised for heartlessness and for spending time with the Lebedevs instead of his seriously ill wife.

This is one of his early lesser known but still Preformed plays that in a comic fashion, deals with the issues of changing times in Russia, as do his more famous plays.

Mel Ulm

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