Publication date: August 24, 2021
DRAMA/Russian & Former Soviet Union
LITERARY COLLECTIONS/Russian & Former Soviet Union
Page count: 162
Trim: 5.5" × 8.5"
Publisher: Anton Korenev Entertainment
What can we learn about life and love from one of the greatest plays of all time, written by one of the greatest writers of all time, who also happened to define modern theater as we know it?
“Many conversations about literature, little action, five poods of love.” That is how Anton Chekhov described his comedy, in which Medvedenko loves Masha, Masha loves Treplev, Treplev loves Nina, and Nina loves Trigorin, all while Shamrayev loves Polina Andreyevna, Polina Andreyevna loves Dorn, Dorn loves Arkadina, and Arkadina loves Trigorin. The situation becomes less comedic for a little while when two of these characters fall in love with each other, but “the circumstances have unexpectedly made it so that” this arcadia does not last too long. There is “little action” in the play, just the characters living their lives: some suffer from the creative process, some search for fame, some desperately try to live, some constantly attempt to end their life—all while new art forms are struggling to coexist with the old. And—did we forget?—everyone is looking for love . . .
Translated by a Russian actor and director, this dramatic translation is deeply rooted in insights from his ongoing work on his own theatrical production as director and on the character of Trigorin as actor. Many textual and visual elements and clues that are essential to the story and character interpretation are presented in the English language for the first time.
, the trademark and service mark for our undertakings related to The Seagull, is both a letter in the Russian alphabet and a number.
The letter, pronounced as [ch], is the first letter of the following relevant words in Russian:
The number symbolizes:
“Korenev has taken pains to bring the staging to the page with a new clarity. Now is perhaps an especially good time to revisit this play of loneliness and isolation; it feels like an old friend returned after a long absence—familiar, but also new.”
Rain Taxi Review of Books
full review in print edition
“A new translation of Chekhov’s The Seagull pulses with an artist’s sensitivity . . . A nuanced, aching Seagull, attentive to the rhythms and melody of Chekhov’s own language, but unfussily direct in its English. Korenev’s version emphasizes its Russian-ness, right down to Chekhov’s insistence that this study of disappointment and suicide qualifies as comedy.”
“Anton Korenev's refreshing translation of Anton Chekhov's The Seagull reveals the heart of the nineteenth-century story to a modern audience.”
Foreword Clarion Reviews,
“A crisp, conversational translation that makes Chekhov’s words sing. Readers will be struck by how contemporary the dialogue sounds, even given its remote setting. This clarity helps make Chekhov’s insight and humor shine all the brighter.”
“A relatively quick read, yet leaves so much to think about. Highly recommended!”
Kaggsy's Bookish Ramblings
“A stark, succinctly Russian view of life . . . translation getting right to the nitty-gritty without losing the poetry of the original.”
The Paperback Collector