By Laurence Senelick (auth.)
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The twelve essays during this quantity care for significant achievements in German brief prose released among 1810 and 1978. lots of the texts studied are Novellen, and there's a focus at the first 1/2 the 19th century, the interval within which this type flourished in Germany. The works coated variety from Goethe’s Novelle, a identify straining for exemplary prestige, to Walser’s Ein fliehendes Pferd, the simplest instance of Novelle shape within the past due 20th century, as very important for its social and mental observation as for its sophisticated characterisation and skilful association of motifs, positive aspects during which the Novelle has tended to excel.
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Uncluttered by way of the complexities of plot and personality that daunt such a lot of readers of the longer Russian masterpieces, Tolstoy's stories illumine everlasting truths with forceful brevity. whereas encouraged through a feeling of non secular simple task, their narrative caliber, sophisticated humor, and visionary strength elevate them some distance above the typical run of 'religious' literature.
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His legendary statement that 'on stage people dine, simply dine, and meanwhile their happiness is taking shape or their lives are breaking up' 11 is indeed a telegraphic synopsis of an aesthetic, but it is a symbolist aesthetie: beyond the commonplace surface of existing lurks the reallife of the characters. When Chekhov himself set about to write plays, he was 25 Anton Chekhov tom between creating works that would be successful because of their conformity to accepted norms, and works that avoided the diebes and conventions of the popular stage.
In this respect, he much resembles Gregers Werle in Ibsen's The Wild Duck, who, in his quixotic attempt to strip away illusions, destroys the lives of those around hirn. Chekhov's task was to make sure that Lvov did not seem either an objective spokesman or a fatuous prig. 'Such persons are necessary, and for the most part sympathetic. To draw them as caricatures, even in the interests of the stage is dishonorable and serves no purpose' (to Suvorin, 30 December 1888). Rehearsals for the Petersburg production went badly, despite a strong cast, and Chekhov quarrelIed with the comic actor Vladimir Davydov who played the lead in a monotonous style to indicate seriousness.
Sofiya is hopelessly courted as weil by the young landowner Zheltukhin, whose sister Yuliya has long loved Fyodor Orlovsky from afar, but cannot get hirn to change his wild ways. This lack of reciprocity and sympathy is, for Chekhov, more than a means of complicating the plot; it sounds the thematic note for the unbearable life these people lead. As Yelena says to Voynitsky, 'Everyone's warring against everyone else. ' The situation worsens to the point that Voynitsky shoots 44 Journeyrnan Effor~ himself and Yelena runs away, and it is the task of the fourth act to unravel these misunderstandings and pose a solution.
Anton Chekhov by Laurence Senelick (auth.)