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Творчеството на Чехов в литературното пространство..
Chekhov’s Works in Literary Space

Author(s): Nikola Georgiev
Subject(s): Literary Texts
Published by: Институт за литература - BAN
Keywords: literary publications; literary theory; Chekhov

Summary/Abstract: The subtitle of the present article, ‘Not Written on the Occasion of the Centenary of Chekhov’s Death’, clearly and emphatically indicates the fact that it is not a eulogy. In a distinctly non-celebratory tone the article makes the point that although well known, well respected and well analysed the world over, Chekhov’s work nonetheless remains homeless in the literary world. The peculiarities of his narrative and dramatic modes still puzzle critics and are yet to be comprehended. One approach to them – the more common one – attempts to justify and reconcile those peculiarities with earlier, accepted or even ‘classic’ rules. The opposite approach tends to align him with the modernist rebellion (a quiet rebellion, in Chekhov’s case) in European literature sinse Maeterlinck and Joyce, a rebellion in the face of which the new branch of literary studies, narratology, turned out to be nearly helpless. In semiotic terms, Chekhov’s narration enters into an iconic relationship with his main topics, boredom, and the virtually untranslatable poshlost’ (the closest one can get in trying to render it in English would perhaps be by using the adjectives ‘common’, ‘vulgar’, ‘trivial’). Adopting a contrastive-intertextual approach, the second half of the article shifts the attention from the more general concept of literary space to a specific comparison between Chekhov’s works and those of Nikolay Liskov, whose narrative mode seems to be in a relationshep of direct opposition to Chekhov’s. Intertextual links are suggested between two pairs of works by the two authors, Chekhov’s The Lady with the Lapdog and Leskov’s Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District, on the one hand, and The Daughter of Albion (Chekhov) and The Left-handed Craftsman (Leskov), on the other.

  • Issue Year: 2004
  • Issue No: 1
  • Page Range: 5-27
  • Page Count: 23
  • Language: Bulgarian