Four Plays and Three Jokes

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This volume offers lively and accurate translations of Chekhov's major plays and one-acts (complete contents listed below) along with a superb Introduction focused on the plays' remarkably enduring power to elicit the most widely divergent of responses, the life of the playwright in its historical and aesthetic contexts, suggestions for reading the plays under a microscope, and notes designed to bring Chekhov's world into immediate focus--everything needed to examine his drama with fresh eyes and on its own artistic terms.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Carnicke treats Chekhov as a riddle that is solvable only if we understand his career as a humorist. Her decision to juxtapose Chekhov's great dramas with his earlier light farces is purposeful, as the thrust behind her translations and excellent introduction is not only to introduce the reader to Chekhov's early humorous works, but to bring out crucial comic elements in his later ones. Her introduction functions as an essential primer for any student on the works of Chekhov. Its thorough exploration of Chekhov's idiosyncratic use of language is a godsend for directors and performers of English-language productions of these plays. A theatre director and performer herself, Carnicke pays close attention to the details of Chekhov's language, and her translations are geared toward live performance with speech ready-made for the stage. She retains the sense of the originals but adapts them in a colloquial English that is utterly performable. Carnicke's collection is the quintessential starting point for any serious performer of Chekhov, not only because of the playable translations, most of which have already been tested on stage, but for its engaging and enlightening introduction. The volume represents a momentous step toward ridding the American stage of stodgy and dour productions of Chekhov's masterpieces. --Brian Johnson, Swarthmore College, condensed from Translation Review 82

These new translations read smoothly and display ?delity to the original. Carnicke has aimed to ?nd a middle path between versions that are too colloquial and versions that sound stilted or too formal to the American ear and has succeeded. --Julian W. Connolly, Professor of Slavic Languages and Literatures, University of Virginia

Carnicke's translation of Three Sisters shows her background in the Slavic ?eld to good advantage. Chekhov doesn't emerge as 'the voice of Twilight Russia,' or anything mawkish at all, as he sometimes does, but as a sharp-eyed watcher of some very silly people. Carnicke understands Chekhov and understands Russia. --Robert L. Belknap, Professor Emeritus of Slavic Languages, Columbia University

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780872209978
  • Publisher: Hackett Publishing Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 9/1/2009
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 348
  • Sales rank: 545,401
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Sharon Marie Carnicke is Professor of Theatre and Slavic Languages and Literatures, University of Southern California. She is the author of Stanislavsky in Focus (Routledge) and, with Cynthia Baron, Reframing Screen Performance (University of Michigan Press).

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