Anton Chekhov, Vishnevyi sad [The Cherry Orchard]

John Reid (University of the West of England)
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Chekhov's last play was written in the final year of his life when he was desperately ill with the tuberculosis that had overshadowed so much of his life. Yet, despite his own tragic circumstances, he remained defiantly insistent that his play was exactly as specified in the subtitle - 'A Comedy in Four Acts'. From his letters and notebooks, he appears to have been retracing his own comic roots, glancing back to the example of one of his favourite comic writers, Nikolai Gogol, whose “laughter through tears” formula would have commended itself to Chekhov: “I dream of writing a very funny play where the devil would go about in a whirlwind of chaos.” It seems an unusually puckish and mischievous project for a dying writer, but those who first read and performed it for the Moscow Arts…

2395 words

Citation: Reid, John. "Vishnevyi sad". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 05 November 2001 [, accessed 22 June 2024.]

1309 Vishnevyi sad 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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