chekhov was a doctor...
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2007 : text : 1 * 2 * 3 : images
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This volume of specially commissioned essays explores the world of Anton Chekhov - one of the most important dramatists in the repertoire - and the creation, performance and interpretation of his works. The Companion begins with an examination of Chekhov's life, his Russia, and the original productions of his plays at the Moscow Art Theatre. Later film versions and adaptations of Chekhov's works are analysed, with valuable insights also offered on acting Chekhov, by Ian McKellen, and directing Chekhov, by Trevor Nunn and Leonid Heifetz. The volume also provides essays on 'special topics' such as Chekhov as writer, Chekhov and women, and the Chekhov comedies and stories. Key plays, such as The Cherry Orchard and The Seagull, receive dedicated chapters while lesser-known works and genres are also brought to light. The volume concludes with appendices of primary sources, lists of works, and a select bibliography.
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DOCTOR [comes in; walking as though sober without staggering, he walks across the room, stops, looks round; then goes up to the washing-stand and begins to wash his hands.] The devil take them all... damn them all. They think I'm a doctor, that I can treat all sorts of complaints, and I really know nothing about it, I've forgotten all I did know, I remember nothing, absolutely nothing. [OLGA and NATASHA go out unnoticed by him.] The devil take them. Last Wednesday I treated a woman -- she died, and it's my fault that she died. Yes... I did know something twenty-five years ago, but now I remember nothing, nothing. Perhaps I'm not a man at all but only pretend to have arms and legs and head; perhaps I don't exist at all and only imagine that I walk around, eat and sleep [weeps]. Oh, if only I didn't exist! [Stops weeping, morosely] I don't care! I don't care a scrap! [a pause] Who the hell knows.... The day before yesterday there was a conversation at the club: they talked about Shakespeare, Voltaire.... I've read nothing, nothing at all, but I looked as though I'd read them. And the others did the same as I did. The vulgarity! The meanness! And that woman I killed on Wednesday came back to my mind... and it all came back to my mind and everything seemed nasty, disgusting and all twisted in my soul.... I went out and got drunk...Performing Chekhov ISBN: 0415189349 Author: Allen, David Publisher: Routledge Subject: Chekhov, Anton Pavlovich Subject: Theater - Reference Subject: Theater - Direction & Production Subject: Theater - History & Criticism Publication Date: March 2000
[ Read notes on "Cherry Orchard" for THR215 Dramatic Literature and compare! ]
Other Chekhov's doctors :
[ including his short-stories ]
"Chebutykin, the physician, is a pleasant man who has withdrawn from helping others and taken solace in alcohol. Has he seen too much suffering in his life and simply burned-out? Why has he given up the practice of medicine?
Unlike some of Chekhov's physicians who continue to practice after they have lost their altruism, Chebutykin has simply withdrawn. Compare him, for example, with Ionych in Chekhov's story, "Ionych" (see this database), who has replaced altruism as motivation with greed. Consider also Astrov in Uncle Vanya (see this database), who struggles on with his profession, even though he is disillusioned with the results of his efforts." *
Back to CHEKHOV PAGES (use menu on the right)!
Chekhov: "I am afraid of those who will look for tendenciousness between the
lines and who are determined to see me either as a liberal or a conservative.
I am neither a liberal nor a conservative, neither a gradualist nor a monk
nor an indifferentist.
I would like to be nothing more than a free artist, and I regret that God did not give me the gift to be one. I hate falseness and coercion in all their forms .... Pharisaism, stupidity and arbitrariness reign not merely in merchants' houses and police stations: I see them in science, in literature, among the young.
That is why I have no particular passion for either policemen or butchers or scientists or writers or the young. I consider brand-names and labels a prejudice.
My holy of holies is the human body, health, intelligence, talent, inspiration, love, and absolute freedom, freedom from force and falseness in whatever form they express themselves. That's the platform I'd subscribe to if I were a great artist."
Chekhov: "You must trust and believe in people or life becomes impossible."
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