(1860 – 1904)
(1860-1904), Russian writer, honorary academician of the St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences (1900-02). He began as an author of feuilletons and short humorous stories (the pseudonym of Antosh Chehonte and others). The main themes of creativity are the intellectual aspirations of the intelligentsia, dissatisfaction with the philistine existence of some, spiritual “humility” over the vulgarity of others’ lives (The Boring Story, 1889, The Duel, 1891, The House with the Mezzanine, 1896, Ionich, 1898; with a dog “, 1899). In the stories “Indian kingdom” (1894), “Guys” (1897), “In the ravine” (1900) showed the savagery and cruelty of village life. The great strength of social and artistic generalization Chekhov achieved in the stories “Chamber No. 6” (1892), “The Man in a Case” (1898). In the plays “The Seagull” (1896), “Uncle Vanya” (1897), “Three Sisters” (1901), “The Cherry Orchard” (1904), set on the stage of the Moscow Art Theater, created a special, disturbing emotional atmosphere of anticipation of the future. The protagonist of Chekhov is an ordinary man with his daily affairs and worries. A subtle psychologist, a master of subtext, originally combining humor and lyricism.
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Chekhov Anton Pavlovich [17 (29) January 1860, Taganrog 2 (15) July 1904, Badenweiler, South Germany; buried in Moscow at the Novodevichy Cemetery], Russian writer.
A family. Study. Antosh Chekhonte was
born into a large family of a merchant of the third guild, the owner of a grocery store; studied in the classical gymnasium, while helping his father in trade. By the gymnasium years are the first literary experiments of Chekhov vaudeville, scenes, essays, anecdotes, etc.; some of which he sends to the editorial offices of the capital’s humorous magazines.
After admission to the medical faculty of Moscow University (1879), literary work becomes the main source of income for Chekhov: from that time his “humorous little things” are regularly published on the pages of mass illustrated magazines under various pseudonyms (Antosha Chekhonte, Man without spleen, etc.).
After graduating from the university (1884), Chekhov, working as a county doctor, continues the “multichannel”: the main genre in his work of this period is the short story short, a short sketch,
sketch, sketch based on a funny or absurd incident, a curious or funny case from life. Scattered by periodicals, written within a certain volume and by the established date, the works of this time were compiled by the collections “Variegated Stories” (1886) and “Innocent Speeches” (1887).
Entering the “big” literature
Chekhov’s artistic discoveries
A new stage in the creative biography of Chekhov’s “entry into literature” is connected with the beginning of his regular cooperation in the newspaper “New Time” (since 1886) by A. Suvorin, where Chekhov’s works first appeared under his real name, and the publication “In the Twilight” (1887), singled out by critics from the general flow of mass fiction (he recognized the writer’s undoubted talent, his ability to draw pictures of nature and human types in a few strokes, and create a poetic mood). In the same 1887 play “Ivanov” (staged on the stage of the Korsha Theater), Chekhov summed up his early dramatic searches, started back in the gymnasium years, and at the same time laid the foundation for the poetics of the new dramatic art.
Attention to criticism, reader sympathies and, most importantly, support from leading writers (DV Grigorovich, AN Pleshcheyev, VG Korolenko) were regarded by Chekhov as an invitation to professional literary activity, which required him to revise his own attitude to literary pursuits as a way of making money or having fun. In the story “The Steppe”, published in 1888 in the journal “Severny Vestnik”, the main artistic discoveries of Chekhov emerged: the absence of a traditional hero for the Russian literature expressing the author’s worldview position; The reconstruction of the surrounding world, refracted by emotional human perception; the transfer of the emotional state of the characters through “occasional” replicas and gestures.
Trip to Sakhalin
In 1890 Chekhov interrupted the literary work that had been successfully started and set off on a long journey across Siberia to Sakhalin Island for “studying the life of convicts and exiles”. The creative result of the journey is the book “Sakhalin Island” (1895), written in the genre of “travel notes”; it was based not only on personal impressions from numerous meetings, but also on the statistical data collected on the island.
In the first half of the 1890’s. Chekhov becomes one of the most read writers of Russia. His works appear regularly in the journals Severniy Vestnik and Russkaya Mysl (since 1892), the newspapers Novoye Vremya (until 1893) and Russkie Vedomosti; separate publications and collections are published (Stories, 1888, Gloomy People, 1890, Stories and Stories, 1894), which are constantly reprinted, causing a wide resonance in the literary circles. Do not denying the growing talent of Chekhov, the criticism is mostly incapable accept the peculiarities of his “objective” (as he himself characterized it) artistic manner, accuses the writer of indifference to social problems, the absence of direct author’s assessments and outlook in general, in what he writes “with cold blood,” in an unnecessary “
The problems of stories
In numerous stories of this time, Chekhov addresses the study of the soul of a modern man, influenced by various social, scientific and philosophical ideas: pessimism (“Fires”, 1888), social Darwinism (“Duel”, 1891), radical populism (“The Story of an Unknown Man” , 1893); solves the problems of family relations that worried the society (Three Years, The Spouse, Ariadne, all 1895), the abnormal phenomena of the psyche (The Black Monk, 1894), etc. The basis of the stories is not the clash of a person with a rough social environment, but internal conflict of his spiritual world: Chekhov’s heroes are “gloomy”, boring, people living “in the twilight”, are vitally incapacitated due to their own inability to creative realization, inability to overcome emotional alienation from other people; their misfortunes are not fatal predetermination and are not conditioned historically, they suffer because of their own everyday errors, bad deeds, moral and mental apathy.
The innovation of drama
Simultaneously, Chekhov continues to work in the dramatic genre, writing small plays, jokes, vaudeville (The Wedding, 1890), the comedy Leshiy (1890). In the mid-1890’s. Chekhov returned to his dramatic searches, trying to transfer to the plays the basic principles of “objective” prose: the plot sharpness was replaced by a calmly current course of events, and all the dramatic collisions moved to the sphere of spiritual experiences of the heroes. In the plot weakened the elements of entertaining, which was supplemented by the psychological saturation of the action, the tension of which was maintained by “occasional” replicas that acquired symbolic coloring, as well as by extra-verbal means (pauses, gestures of characters, “extraneous” sounds, trifles); in the aggregate created a psychological significance that was extremely important for Chekhov’s perception of drama. However, the Russian theaters were not ready to adequately reproduce the new drama: the performance of the play “The Seagull” on the stage of the Alexander Theater of Russia (1896) ended in failure, and only the production of the Moscow Art Theater (1898) opened the public to the art of Chekhov the playwright. The subsequent Chekhov plays (Uncle Vanya, 1899, Three Sisters, 1901, The Cherry Orchard, 1904) were staged only on the stage of this theater. and only the production of the Moscow Art Theater (1898) opened the public art Chekhov-playwright. The subsequent Chekhov plays (Uncle Vanya, 1899, Three Sisters, 1901, The Cherry Orchard, 1904) were staged only on the stage of this theater. and only the production of the Moscow Art Theater (1898) opened the public art Chekhov-playwright. The subsequent Chekhov plays (Uncle Vanya, 1899, Three Sisters, 1901, The Cherry Orchard, 1904) were staged only on the stage of this theater.
The last period of creativity
In the late 1890’s early 1900’s. Chekhov is an acknowledged and popular master: journals are looking for his participation, the appearance of new works is regarded by critics as an event of literary life, disputes around them develop into social and political discussions about the future of the Russian village, the role of the intelligentsia in society, etc. In his work, new Topics. Faithful to the principles of “artistic objectivity,” Chekhov creates gloomy pictures of peasant life torn away from culture (My Life, 1896, The Peasants, 1897, In the Ravine, 1900). The theme of moral degradation and spiritual devastation of the Russian intelligentsia, its inability to social and personal life-building rises in the story “The House with the Mezzanine” (1896), the “Little Trilogy” “Man in a Case,” “Gooseberries,” ” On Love “(1898), at the same time, many of the heroes of his latest works are increasingly experiencing” longing for the ideal, “they endure the desire for a new, better life (” On business “, 1898,” Bishop “, 1902,” Bride ” , 1903), alien to moral teaching, religious preaching and social utopianism, Chekhov does not prescribe the recipes for moral perfection, social reorganization or spiritual transformation, but in the wear and tear of his heroes, in their dissatisfaction with the senselessness of their existence, sees evidence of a fundamental Possibility for a man to arrange his life truthfully, dignifiedly and joyfully.