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Five Plays: Ivanov, The Seagull, Uncle Vanya, Three Sisters, and The Cherry Orchard: "Ivanov", "The Seagull", "Uncle Vanya", "Three Sisters", "The Cherry Orchard" (Oxford World's Classics) [Paperback]

Anton Chekhov , Ronald Hingley
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Paperback, 2 April 1998 --  
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Five Plays: Ivanov, The Seagull, Uncle Vanya, Three Sisters, and The Cherry Orchard (Oxford World's Classics) Five Plays: Ivanov, The Seagull, Uncle Vanya, Three Sisters, and The Cherry Orchard (Oxford World's Classics) 5.0 out of 5 stars (2)
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Book Description

2 April 1998 Oxford World's Classics
This volume contains English translations of: Ivanov, The Seagull, Uncle Vanya, Three Sisters, and The Cherry Orchard, with a new Introduction by Ronald Hingley.

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Five Plays: Ivanov, The Seagull, Uncle Vanya, Three Sisters, and The Cherry Orchard: "Ivanov", "The Seagull", "Uncle Vanya", "Three Sisters", "The Cherry Orchard" (Oxford World's Classics) + Selected Stories (Oxford World's Classics) + Poetry of the Thirties (Penguin Modern Classics)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford Paperbacks; New edition edition (2 April 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0192834126
  • ISBN-13: 978-0192834126
  • Product Dimensions: 19.3 x 1.8 x 12.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 780,137 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

Anton Pavlovich Chekhov was born in 1860 in Taganrog, a
port in southern Russia. His father was a former serf. In 1879, after
receiving a classical education at the Taganrog Gymnasium, he
moved to Moscow to study medicine. During his university years he
helped support his family by writing stories and sketches for
humorous magazines. By 1888 he was contributing to Russia's most
prestigious literary journals and regarded as a major writer. He also
started writing plays: his first full-length play, Ivanov, was produced
in 1887. After undertaking a journey to visit the penal colony on the
Siberian island of Sakhalin in 1890, he settled on a country estate
outside Moscow, where he continued to write and practise medicine.
His failing health forced him to move to Yalta in 1898, where he
wrote his most famous short story, 'The Lady with the Little Dog'
(1899), and two of his best-known plays: Three Sisters (1901) and
The Cherry Orchard (1904), written with Stanislavsky's Moscow Art
Theatre in mind. In 1901 he married the company's leading actress,
Olga Knipper. He died from tuberculosis in Badenweiler, Germany,
in July 1904 at the age of 44.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Checkov 17 July 2013
By tilia
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Classical 5 plays, very good to read plays. I would prefer bigger more eye friendly print. Checkov's plays are very good to read.
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4 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars chekhov 28 Feb 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Five classic plays by one of the worlds top writers, they are well worth the read
( Chekhov at his best )
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.0 out of 5 stars  10 reviews
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Oxford edition of Chekhov is an all-round disappointment. 20 Jan 2010
By Brad Hoevel - Published on
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. Also 100-page sections of commentary by literary critics and Directors of theater who have taken part in the production of the plays themselves. Translated and heavily annotated by Laurence Senelick.

The Plays of Anton Chekhov: Nine plays total. Acclaimed translated by Chekhovian actor Paul Schmidt.

The Complete Plays: Also the Selenick translation. The most complete collection of Chekhov's stage works currently available. 1000+ pages.
20 of 24 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Nice, but not Chekhov 28 Mar 2003
By A Customer - Published on
This translation is a nice effort -- at rewriting the original, extremely subtle text as a modern English drama according to the tastes and limitations of the translator. If you're looking to capture the true genius of Chekhov, try another.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Translation feels un-Russian 6 Oct 2011
By BBP - Published on
I read The Seagull in high school and decided to pick up my copy again recently. I got part way through Ivanov and stopped because of how inauthentic the translation sounded. Now that I'm an adult and have had many more years of reading works in translation and exposure to the philosophy of language, I see many problems with Roger Hingley's translation.

He takes many liberties with phrases and I did not get a feel for the original Russian text, almost erasing all the Russian-ness from it in Ivanov. Do Russians sound like stodgy English geezers? Here's an example from Act III Scene I: "French know what they want. They only want to make mincemeat of Brother Fritz, but Germany's another cup of tea, old boy. Germany has other fish to fry besides France." Hingley plays fast and loose with colloquialisms: mincemeat, fish to fry, cup of tea.. I can't imagine Russians in the country side talking like this. In the Seagull, among his many Anglicizations:

Pjotr Nikolayevich Sorin as Peter Sorin
Konstantin Gavrilovich Treplyov as Constantine Treplev
Nina Mikhailovna Zarechnaya as Nina Zerechny
Yevgeny Dorn as Eugene Dorn
Semyon Semyonovich Medvedenko as Simon Medvedenko

Look for another translation instead. This one makes everyone sound like stuffy old Brits (because Hingley himself is British), especially with the copious usage of "old boy" as a diminutive and phrasing like "he's a funny chap".
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Chekhov Man...Chekhov.. 26 Feb 2013
By Jeremy Schmidt - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I think the truth about Chekhov, if we're going to honest, is that he is just so damn good it's hard to really find anything to critique the bastard. I have enjoyed everything by Chekhov, from his short stories (Lady With The Dog) to his novels and plays. What really stands out to me in this collection is Three Sisters, which I consider to be a masterpiece. Though Hemingway would disagree, I think Chekhov is perfectly capable of depth and fertility of sentiment unlike most Russian authors. Just look at what we have through Carver now, probably because of the influence of Chekhov. One would not regret having this copy of Five Play adorn their bookshelf. I mean, come on, if for no other reason to admire the spine among the other great works of literature.
0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Why Not? 10 Jun 2008
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Although I only bought this edition because I needed for a class and the School bookstore was sold out, why not write a review? After all, asked me to...

Since I only read the "Cherry Orchard", I'll focus on that. The play concerns an old aristocratic family who is facing the foreclosure of their ancenstrl estate. Their solution? Wait for something random to occur. Neither the matriarch Mrs. Ranevsky or her brother Gayev have any inclination to lift a finger to save the estate, much to the chagrin of Lopahkin and Trofimov, who continually offer advice. It's a quick play, and actually quite funny (according to my professor, Chekov only saw one production of the "Cherry Orchard" and complained it was too dark, that it should be more comedic).

So if you're stuck for something to read this summer and decide you don't have anything to prove in the literary world (unlike me who has decided to read the unabridged version of "Les Miserables)...why not read a Chekov play?
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