Anton Chekhov: Ivanov

(2942 words)
  • John Reid (University of the West of England)

Anton Chekhov wrote Ivanov when he was twenty-seven years old and it was his first full-length play to be staged. An earlier play, Platonov, written while he was a student, probably served as a model for the new work, but it had been turned down by the Maly theatre. In 1887-90 he had also had some success, much to his father's delight, with a series of one-act vaudevilles or farces, which drew upon his experience of writing humorous sketches for weekly magazines. Chekhov had brought new life to the traditional one-act “vaudeville” form by giving his comic types deft realistic touches that made them closer to being the “living characters” that he aspired to create in his mature plays. Under pseudonyms like “…

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Reid, John. "Ivanov". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 27 September 2003
[, accessed 28 November 2015.]