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The Complete Plays Paperback – December 17, 2007

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"The most complete collection of the Russian playwright's repertoire." Vogue"

About the Author

Anton Chekhov was born on January 29, 1860 in Taganrog, Russia. He graduated from the University of Moscow in 1884. Chekhov died of tuberculosis in Germany on July 14, 1904, shortly after his marriage to actress Olga Knipper, and was buried in Moscow.

Laurence Senelick is the Fletcher Professor of Drama and Oratory at Tufts University and author of more than a dozen books, including the award-winning The Chekhov Theatre and The Changing Room: Sex, Drag, and the Theatre. He is director of his own translations of Gogol’s The Inspector General (1998) and Euripides’ The Bakkhai (2001).
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 1136 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; Reprint edition (December 17, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393330699
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393330694
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #458,301 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

32 of 33 people found the following review helpful By John Matlock on March 5, 2006
Format: Hardcover
A brilliant translation for all lovers of great and enduring literature.

W.W. Norton has published all of Chekhov's dramatic works in a single stunning volume. The translator is a professor of drama at Tufts University and is fluent in the Russian of the period. This volume contains works that have not previously been translated. The plays are heavily annotated for clearer understanding and appreciation of the nuances and subtleties of the original. Before each play, the author includes an interpretation in the context of Russian history at the time. The plays are consequently better understood and enjoyed.

The translator includes variants of the plays, different endings encouraged by the actors who played the parts, unfinished plays, and dialogues.

Senelick includes an illuminating chronology of Chekhov's life in the context of history. Chekhov wrote his great plays while practicing medicine as a physician and suffering from tuberculosis.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By K. Stanfa on April 12, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I had to get this boook for an acting class because the professor (who is Russian) wanted to use a translation other than the more well known Paul Schmidt complete works.

While I like Paul's for a very American translation accessible more to American Actors and audiences, there is admitedly something Russian in spirit about Laurence Senelick's translation. I beleive that translations should really be called adaptations because they are merely another, less exact form of the original. Especially when it comes to language and character, and not merely a plot driven play (e.g. Ibsen) Senelick's translation offer a sense that is less American and probably closer to the russian. The only thing that bothers me and it has taken me some time to be somewhat ok with is that I feel like it reads like a translation and I tend to like more seamless adaptation if I'm going to call it that, which takes authorial intention (to the best of their opinion of what authorial intent is) to create their version of the original version. From a performative aspect I am still not sure how much I like it in the mouths of American tongues, but I see the merit in language that requires and american actor to really invest in a a foriegn thought process and construction.

Other pluses: Variants to every play chekhov wrote, including what can only be described in this day and age as the special features section with deleted scenes. Great look and style to the book overall, if you like that kind of thing, but it will feel like a bible you are carrying around. Paul Schmidt's is nice because it looks and carries like a normal book, but has virtually every play Chekhov wrote.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By jrs on October 15, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In the case of Chekhov, even some of the short, minor plays are characteristic and of interest. Some are screamingly funny ("Evils of Tobacco.") Of course, one cannot gauge the translation without knowing Russian, but critical notes suggest seriousness on the tranlator's part, and these translations read well. Joseph Smith
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By WickedCurls on February 20, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm really growing to appreciate Anton Chekhov and what he did for literature and theatre. This collection of plays is very broad and thorough. The translator Laurence Senelick clearly knows his stuff. However, I found the translations to have too much modern lingo/idioms that I was distracted and pulled out of the plays when I came across such words. Chekhov wrote in the late 19th century and I feel that any translation should be true to the idioms of that time period.
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By Tony Marquise Jr. on July 26, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is the only book that translates all the plays by Anton Chekhov into English. The translations are well done and this is a beatifully produced volume. Chekhov wrote some of the best short stories and plays of the modern era. However, only a few of his plays are 'the best' and some of them are poor. The reader who wants to read the cream of Chekhov will be better off with an inexpensive paperback edition of his best plays. However, for those who desire to read all the great writers plays this is not only the best choice-it is the only choice. And it is an excellant choice.
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By De on January 16, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
You all know the plays or you wouldn't be here. What you might not know is the wealth of notes to the text that this edition provides along with very hand (and teachable) critical materials. As a teacher of Chekhov, this edition is a quantum leap among the many other available editions.
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