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How easy it is, Doctor, to be a philosopher on paper and, how difficult in real life.The Seagull was a delightful exploration of binary contrasts, a meditation rocking the countryside as a m lange of folk gather by the shore of a lake for some Slavic RR adultery and suicide I am only kidding Echoing Hemingway, one would imagine all of Mother Rus hanging themselves judging by the pages of its marvelous literature The contrast between urban and rural is explored as is the space between art and labor Regret happens to ruminate and the servants receive a whole ruble to divide amongst themselves There s a play within the play which somehow struck me as did Bergman s Through A Glass Darkly and everyone appears to be quoting Hamlet Substitute a sea gull for an albatross and pen a portrait of the artist or author as lecher and Bob s your uncle but not Vanya. Finishing The Seagull, I have now read the quartet of what s known as Chekhov s major plays.The Seagull 1896Uncle Vanya 1897The Three Sisters 1901The Cherry Orchard 1904So I saved the first for last and I think probably the best for last as well But they are all outstanding and I encourage anyone who hasn t read them to give them a try They all came within a few years of the turn of the 20th century, and at that time and place they were as good as it get s And they hold their own today, still standing the test of time. [Read Epub] ⚖ Чайка ♳ A Methuen Student Edition Of Chekhov S Classic Play In Michael Frayn S Acclaimed TranslationWhen It First Opened In St Petersburg In , The Seagull Survived Only Five Performances After A Disastrous First Opening Night Two Years Later It Was Revived By Nemirovich Danchenko At The Newly Founded Moscow Art Theatre With Stanslasky As Trigorin And Was An Immediate Success Checkhov S Description Of The Play Was Characteristically Self Mocking A Comedy F, M, Four Acts, Rural Scenery A View Over A Lake Much Talk Of Literature, Little Action, Five Bushels Of LoveMichael Frayn S Translation Was Commissioned By The Oxford Playhouse Company I know you love me I m touched I just don t love you back, that s all. Masha Act I Anton Chekhov The Seagull I VE BEEN SEDUCED BY CHEKHOVThe Seagull was my introduction to Chekhov in college I read, analysed and directed it The translation I reread today was the same I studied in college, Stark Young This is Young s most successful translation of Chekhov I believe It is not as stilted and academic as his other translations Young also succeeds and bringing about an emotional connection with his characters here where he has not succeeded in his later translations As I reread Chekhov this year, I realize that Chekhov has placed himself as a character in each of his works In The Seagull, there are two writers in the script, the younger, Konstantin, and the older, Trigorin I can t help but feel that both are aspects of Chekhov Konstantin, the playwright, looking for new ways of expressions, not unlike Chekhov the playwright Trigorin, the successful writer, who grew bored with life and his successes, not unlike Chekhov the short story writer I can t help but think the female characters are based upon the women in his life Yes, I think that The Seagull is a largely biographical play placed in a fictionalized world So what did I get out of this rereading of The Seagull We spend fartime killing life than living it We murder our own happiness through through a lack of self awareness In in the end, the love you receive is equal to the love you give Sadly, love here is replaced by obsession. The Seagull is the first Chekhov play I ever saw performed, sometimes in the seventies, in a production by the Stratford Festival Theater in Stratford, Ontario in 1968, when I was 15, and I will never forget the performance of Nicholas Pennell as the playwright Konstantin Tr plev I saw one other production in the early seventies at my college I am reading the short stories of Chekhov now, and it is my plan to reread all of his major plays at some point, but I re read it at this time because the play figures in The Humbling by Philip Roth Roth loved Chekhov, and his novel ends with his main character, the famous actor Simon Axler, thinking about the closing events of this play Roth s novel owes a lot to this play on many levels.The Seagull is about a playwright who writes a bad play, gets panned for it, becomes distraught and hopeless about it, loses a girlfriend in the process, and attempts suicide a couple times Konstantin is one of two central unhappy and somewhat melodramatic characters who can t find ways out of their unhappiness Konstantin s play is in the symbolist tradition the kind of play Chekhov detested , and Chekhov s own play functions as a kind of comic antidote at times to that kind of idealist literature There s another writer in it who is also unhappily successful, the novelist Trigorin, and Konstanin s mother, the fading actress Irina, is also unhappy Chekhov doesn t make a deep critique of any of these sad people, but with him we laugh at them a bit and come to care for most of them okay, not so much for Konstantin, who is kind of annoying I think Trigorin is one of Chekhov s great characters, almost despondent about how much his success as a novelist fails to build his confidence as a writer That he manages to successfully depress the young optimistic actress Nina, too, is sort of humorous.Chekhov may have seen himself in Trigorin When he finished the play he said, I was expecting a failure, and was prepared for it, as I warned you with perfect sincerity beforehand A month later he wrote, I thought that if I had written and put on the stage a play so obviously brimming over with monstrous defects, I had lost all instinct and that, therefore, my machinery must have gone wrong for good I imagine Roth had in mind Trigorin and Chekhov when he created the famous actor Simon Axler, who suddenly also sees he can no longer act, though Chekhov s play turns into a kind of tragic comic farce, and Roth s novel achieves less obvious humor, playinglike tragic farce.But I recommend you check out a production of The Seagull sometime The humor is hard to pick up just reading the play, but Chekhov likes people, you can just tell. I just noticed this is my 100th review Or perhaps it is my 98th if you only count the sober ones unless of course you re using the Alex method, in which case I ve only written two reviews because it s only the drunken ones that count , and so I shall allow myself in light of this occasion to blather away without bothering my head about any forms whatsoever As opposed to the usual Which reminds me of a quote I came across recentlyThe conviction is gradually forcing itself upon me that good literature is not a question of forms new or old, but of ideas that must pour freely from the author s heart, without his bothering his head about any forms whatsoeverThis quote doesn t actually have a whole lot to do with The Seagull but one of its characters a character whom I didn t even like very much, if I m being honest says it in a soliloquy, which is the only time he seems to say anything interesting But while this play does talk about books and literature and features writers and actors as characters and even contains a play within a play, it is actuallyabout the things that aren t being discussed Because that is sort of how Chekhov rolls, right It is the layering of subtext that fuels the play s energies.And I like that about Chekhov I like that what isn t going on is just as crucial as what is I enjoy the understatedness of the characters interactions with one another and I like that major occurrences are generally played down rather than overdramatized with soap opera music and close ups And theI talk about this play theI wonder if I should ve given it four stars instead of three, but in the end I found myself comparing it to other Chekhov plays and I simply didn t love it as much as I loved, for example, The Cherry Orchard, which ends with a goosebump inducing scene in which a family s beloved cherry orchard is razed before they ve even moved out of the fucking houseThis play just ends with a whiny, self obsessed little twirp doing what he should have done in Act I.Anyway.Treplev isn t the only one who annoyed me His mother Arkadina is a bit of a heartless monster His love interest Nina is kind of a shallow pain in the ass, but she does exhibit some strength and resolve at the end of the play, qualities that redeem her in my eyes But even though some of The Seagull s characters aren t necessarily likeable, they re still fun to read about I mean who doesn t like a heartless monster in a matriarchal role I m going to see this play performed in a couple of weeks by the Huntington Theatre Company and I am looking forward to it Especially to the ending.Also, I think I should probably writedrunken reviews This one was way too sober. A young girl grows up on the shores of a lake, as you have She loves the lake as the gulls do, and is as happy and free as they But a man sees her who chances to come that way, and he destroys her out of idleness, as this gull here has been destroyed Nina is a beautiful, young, aspiring actress in love with the author Trigorin who is perhaps only in love with himself How easy it is to be a philosopher on paper, and how difficult in real life. March 9, 2009When I read a play, I am always aware of what a limited view I have of the work, knowing that I am seeing a mere skeleton without any flesh, a framework on which must be hung the realization of the work of art thinking that I have truly experienced the play by just reading it is, I think, much like convincing myself that I know a Beethoven symphony simply because I have read the score I have never seen Chekhov s Seagull produced, and that is frustrating I have read about it and can, by my own reading of the play, know that there are important themes present, one of theinteresting being the failure of characters to connect with each other, each loving someone who doesn t love them, each loved by someone they themselves do not love, resolution of these triangles proving to be futile I was eveninterested in the insights into the role and process of writers, the varying ways they see themselves and what they do I wonder which, if any, represents Chekhov s own understandings A movie of the play was made in 1975, but the reviews suggest that it is unsatisfactory I don t know whether to bother watching it.August 28, 2014I turn now to this play, five years after my last reading and my last review, and I post these additional comments in part to demonstrate how a work of literature can create such a different impression at a much later date Here are my current comments Anton Chekhov s play, The Seagull, was first presented in 1896 in St Petersburg, Russia Initially received with disappointment, it was soon viewed as a triumph and one of the author s masterpieces The play features an interesting and varied ensemble of characters and raises fascinating issues for reflection.The play includes a play within a play, one of several allusions to Hamlet In fact, theories of art abound and are articulated by one character after another, although few of the personages seem to listen carefully to one another Several love triangles are also presented, none easily resolved Each person in the play seems to expect something different from life and love Without dwelling on the plot, let me highlight some of the issues that I found most interesting.Most of the characters are unhappy, each in love with someone who does not reciprocate Life is tedious, dull and fretful The sheer banality of life is exquisitely portrayed Each character seeks affirmation from others, trying in various not very successful ways to be loved and, usually, indulged and cared for Life is both mundane and melodramatic Can we live only by turning our lives into productions Is that the only way to make them seem real and meaningful The play of desires and aversions flickers across each life, a kaleidoscope of emotions that speaks to the evanescence and unsatisfactoriness of existence Life is disappointing, and yet each character meets those disappointments and lives on despite them, managing as best they can Treplyov may be the exception Nonetheless, for the others there is courage in the midst of banality, as if persistence in the face of what life brings is meaning enough, or at least all there is Not one of these figures is heroic they are simply people muddling through Each is flawed, each is damaged, each hopes to be cared for and nourished by another Only Dorn seems to be self sufficient, and he seemingly only out of a sense of resignation and endurance Chekhov s view of life is bleak, unflinching, and nonetheless not without a certain compassion His writing is exquisite, both vivid and moving The title reference is to the seagull that Treplyov kills and that becomes a sort of light motif for Nina, whom he loves.Each time I read a play I am once again made aware of how different reading it is from actually experiencing it in production One might compare it to the reading of a musical score in place of hearing music performed There are certainly professionals who can make the synthetic leap necessary to fully appreciating the richness of an artistic work from such a skeletal outline, but I am not one of them The only time I have seen The Seagull produced wasthan fifty years ago at the Loeb Drama Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts I had forgotten this in my comments from five years ago I m am planning to see it again in two weeks at the American Players Theater in Spring Green, Wisconsin, a performance for which I am most eager.Be it noted that I have now changed my rating for this work from the 3 stars of five years ago to 5 stars The play has not changed, but I clearly have. A group of self loathing, pity seeking people of four women, six men in a large Russian country estate with a nearby beautiful lake to swim or fish in, plenty of room to take walks in a tranquil, lovely setting the outdoors such a change from city noise during the late nineteenth century may require the reader s patience, since a couple are rich and famous they protest too much as the saying goes In Anton Chekhov s play all have a dark side the surface appearances hides their turmoil as good manners requires calmness, and politeness, society must be maintained, civilization demands this The performance unfolds in the home of Piotr Sorin, a sick old man retired from government service, with an amateur play about to be acted here for the amusement of the guests visiting him is the renowned actress Irena Arkadina a miser, her star shining less bright, his sister and troubled son Konstantin Trepliov a timid scribbler of the forthcoming theatricals, looking for something to believe in with a low opinion of the world, he dislikes everyone especially himself Nina Zaryechnaia Seagull an aimless daughter of a rich man a neighbor who neglects her being remarried Ilyia Shamrayev, Sorin s stern bailiff, Polena his restless wife and their bored daughter , Marsha Boris Trigorin the popular middlebrow novelist with a roving eye, Yevgheniy Dorn a doctor who keeps Sorin alive, a bachelor that females like, last and certainly least Semion Medviedenko a poor school teacher, clueless, yet trying to rise from this situation Put these folks together and the flow isn t action packed but quite interesting when men and women interact, as love affairs commence, couples unite and separate hate, greed, lust, jealousy are slowly revealed to the audience , people can be generous up to a certain point, than self preservation sets in, trinketsimportant Others will have to take care of themselves as they do, the play was a notorious failure in St Petersburg when first performed in 1896 Chekhov a man never sure of his immense talent was quite discouraged, threatening never to write another, however later it was his biggest success In Moscow, the theater as a whole profits immensely because of this the author likewise yet life is not predictable which makes for a chaotic ride into the unknown The adventurous reader will be happy or not, a fascinating look into the subconscious.P.S inspired if you can believe it by Shakespeare s Hamlet My first play of Chekhov..After reading it peacefully on my library desk I am going to watch it tonight I ll try to write my opinion on it Review After my reading of his stories, some of my GR friends had suggested me to try his plays I earnestly obeyed them with this first play of Chekhov I found once again very similar beauty and charm in it, which had made me his instant admirer, when I d first gone through his wonderful stories There are four main characters in this play TREPLIEFF, a young playwright who thinks he writes different than others He assumes that his themes, though abstract and offbeat, can make wonder.NINA,a young aspiring actress ARKADINA, An old actress mother of TREPLIEFF who feels she still hasacting prowess and charm than that of her younger counterparts.TRIGORIN, A successful writer and main cause of jealousy and conflict of romantic and artistic affairs among TREPLIEFF, NINA and ARKADINA The play depicts the discontent of a young man TREPLIEFF, who sometimes is dominated by the plane human egoism and regrets that his mother is a famous actressIf she were an ordinary woman, I think I would be happier man What could beintolerable and foolish than my position, Uncle, when I find myself the only non entity among a crowd of her guests, all celebrated authors and artistsOn the other hand this young man envies the success of TRIGORIN ,he praises him but tries to diminish his literary achievementsAs for his stories They are how shall I put it Pleasing, full of talent, but if you have read Tolstoi or Zola, you somehow don t enjoy TrigorinPlay progressed wonderfully and kept me engrossed in it.There are existential thoughts in the play and many characters try to find out the purpose of their lives and during such conversation a reader finds the true meaning of this play Sea gull is used symbolically and beautiful indications are shown within the play at different intervals, of this little sea creature This play is all about the artists and their artistic loves, their ambitions and their limitations Characters are doused with ego, self obsession, discontentment, jealousy and passion and their internal emotions and their infringing interests are depicted beautifully by Chekhov.