This 1977 study of Chekhov examines his development and achievement as prose-writer and dramatist. Beverly Hahn draws attention to the range and depth of Chekhov's imagination, disputing any limited conception of him as a 'poet of twilight Russia'. By looking in detail at a number of the longer stories as well as at Three Sisters and The Cherry Orchard, she makes a strong case for viewing Chekhov as a humanist - one actively interested in modern European theories and ideas, but finally committed to respecting and celebrating the unpredictability and variety of human lives. She also explores Chekhov's relationship with his Russian contemporaries and his importance to the modern European tradition. All quotations are in English, but Miss Hahn pays close attention to Chekhov's imagery as it relates to wider structural perspectives of his works. The book as a whole is intended both for professional students of literature and as a critical introduction to Chekhov's work.
Table of Contents
Preface; Acknowledgements; A note on translations; Part I. Introduction: 1. The Cherry Orchard; Part II: 2. Beginnings; 3. The short story - I; 4. The short story - II; Part III: 5. The steppe stories; 6. 'Lights'; Part IV: 7. Chekhov and Tolstoy; 8. 'A Dreary Story'; 9. 'The Duel'; A note on 'Three Years'; Part V: 10. Chekhov's women; 11. 'The Party'; 12. 'The Lady with the Dog'; Part IV: 13. 'A Woman's Kingdom'; 13. Three Sisters; 15. Chekhov's modernity; Notes; Chronological table; Bibliography; Index.