Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/153147
Title: CHEKHOV IN THE CONTEXT OF NINETEENTH CENTURY RUSSIAN LITERATURE
Authors: ELIZABETH SU
Issue Date: 1983
Citation: ELIZABETH SU (1983). CHEKHOV IN THE CONTEXT OF NINETEENTH CENTURY RUSSIAN LITERATURE. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: The critic D.S. Merezhkovsky was wrong when he wrote in an essay in 1911 on Anton Chekhov and Maxim Gorky that Chekhov was "in the highest degree national, but not universal, in the highest degree contemporary, but not historical," that the Chekhovian environment was but "a congealed moment, a dead point of Russian contemporaneity without any connection with world history and world culture." Anton Chekhov dealt with perennial themes which were Russian and at the same time, universal. Leo Tolstoy rightly saw Chekhov as his greatest younger contemporary: "Chekhov is an incomparable artist, an artist of life. And the merit of his creative work is that he is understood and accepted not only by every Russian, but by all humanity." This thesis attempts to bear out the truth of Tolstoy's tribute. Among some of the questions it asks are: Why and how did the nineteenth century Russian literary culture produce Anton Chekhov? Why was the nineteenth century Russian writer alienated from his milieu? Why were people constantly on the move in their personal lives, as exemplified in Chekhov's own compulsive restlessness, as well as depicted in works of literature? What was the tenuous relationship between the intelligentsia and their class? And what was Chekhov's reaction to being a writer in nineteenth century Russia? Chapter 1 discusses the main themes in Chekhov's work: the problems of alienation, loneliness, ignorance, poverty, and shows the affinity Chekhov shares with Tolstoy. Chapter 2 explores the wider perspective of the nineteenth century Russian political and literary background, and finds out why there was a schism between the fathers and the sons. Chapter 3 looks at the relationship between Ivan Turgenev and Chekhov, especially in the form of music while Chapter 4 dwells on the mode of Chekhov’s art. Were his plays tragedies or comedies? Was Chekhov an optimist or pessimist?
URI: https://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/153147
Appears in Collections:Master's Theses (Restricted)

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