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Five Plays: Ivanov, The Seagull, Uncle Vanya, Three Sisters, and The Cherry Orchard (Oxford World's Classics) Paperback – September 1, 2008

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Five Plays: Ivanov, The Seagull, Uncle Vanya, Three Sisters, and The Cherry Orchard (Oxford World's Classics) + Four Major Plays: Doll's House; Ghosts; Hedda Gabler; and The Master Builder (Oxford World's Classics)
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Brodskaya's translation reads easily and naturally... If you haven't read [Chekhov], read him. If you have, it's always a good time to read him again."—Bob Blaisdell, San Francisco Chronicle


"Tender, lucent translation that makes Chekhov's characters leap off the page."—Larry Moss, Acting Teacher and Director


"Chekhov's desperate, comedic greatness comes through in these versions as never before—and precisely those two qualities are required, for Chekhov is neither infernal tragedy nor trivial farce but a special sort of purgatorial comedy. I sensed this aura for the first time in Brodskaya's translations, and shivered while laughing. This is a contemporary American-English variant of world-famous plays cast at perfect pitch, by a person who sees (as well as hears) words."—Caryl Emerson, Princeton University


"[A]nyone who has taught Chekhov's plays or produced them theatrically, certainly anyone with a knowledge of the original texts, must have been frustrated by the marked defects of previous translations. Brodskaya's translation allows us to discover Chekhovian precision and the impact of his strategic word-choices, together with the light these shine on the fabric of modern drama and communication. It is deeply attuned to the spirit of Chekhov's language and his compassionate observation of humans caught in the net of their own habits and blind spots, striving to stop, cause, or foresee the huge change that has already engulfed them."—Monika Greenleaf, from her Notes on the Translation


"With Chekhov, there are infinite possibilities in every thought, every interaction. All an actor asks for in a translation is that these possibilities be left open as they are so beautifully here."—Peter Sarsgaard, actor
"In these superlative translations, Marina Brodskaya succeeds in letting Chekhov speak for himself. Her sensitivity to Chekhov's concise and delicate language allows the beauty of his writing to shine through in a way which is wonderfully redolent of the original Russian."—Rosamund Bartlett, author of Chekhov: Scenes From a Life, translator of About Love and Other Stories, and Founding Director of the Anton Chekhov Foundation
--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

Anton Pavlovich Chekhov was a physician, major Russian short story writer and playwright.
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Product Details

  • Series: Oxford World's Classics
  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford Paperbacks; 1 edition (September 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199536694
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199536696
  • Product Dimensions: 7.6 x 1.1 x 5.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #667,355 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Brad Hoevel on January 20, 2010
Format: Paperback
Based on the outstanding quality of his Plays and Short Stories, Anton Chekhov is commonly considered one of the most influential, respected and beloved literary figures of the twentieth century. I recommend his writing in both fields to anyone who enjoys reading great literature. The Five Plays included in this volume -- Ivanov, The Seagull, Uncle Vanya, Three Sisters, and The Cherry Orchard -- are recognized as Chekhov's greatest and most important works as a playwright.

The problems I have with the Oxfords World's Classics edition of Chekhov's plays are: (1) the translation; (2) the absence of any shorter plays by Chekhov; (3) the scarcity of supplemental material like notes and commentary. These might seem like minor, nit-picky complaints; however, they become major flaws when we compare the Oxford editions with other available collections of Chekhov plays.

In my opinion, the Hingley translation was over-anglicized and thus missing the "Russian" feel of other translations. Compare it, for instance, with the Selenick: "Misha" (in Selenick) becomes "Michael" (in Hingley)
"Lyubov Andreevna" becomes "Mrs. Ranevskaya"
"Lent, third week" is shortened to "before easter"
"peasant" is rendered as "country bumpkin"

Here's what I recommend instead. These editions also contain Chekhov's 5 major plays, but all go above and beyond the basic, "bare-bones-package" of the Oxford edition.

Anton Chekhov's Selected Plays (Norton Critical Editions): includes additional short plays: The Bear, The Wedding and The Celebration. Also nearly 100 pages of Chekhov's letters in which he discusses his plays.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By mperez247 on November 2, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A wonderful new option for translation. The dialogue is a bit more relaxed than the Scmidt version without losing the intent; Some passages roll off the tongue with a bit more contemporary ease. Her notes are informative and even applicable to how to play a moment, e.g., when Dunyasha breaks the plate and Varya comments on the luck, Brodskaya informs you of the likely unknown Russian superstition that if a plate is broken, on accident, it can be good luck (opposite of how I, at least, often see that luck interpreted!) In other words, Brodskaya's translation is the Not For Tourists Guide to Chekhov.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Daniel on February 18, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I found this translation to be terrible, it didn't just read badly, there were grammatical errors. I would recommend getting the Paul Schmidt translation "The Plays of Anton Chekhov".
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