Features of the poetics of Chekhov's dramaturgy
As a true artistic genius, Chekhov destroyed the dramatic canons and left such puzzles that have not been deciphered yet, despite the efforts of several generations of researchers.
First of all, this is the problem of the genre. The author immediately entered into a dispute with the directors Konstantin Stanislavsky and VI Nemirovich-Danchenko and with the performers, claiming that he writes comedies. They believed, moreover, with the same persistence, that these are dramas. After decades, researchers "reconciled" the author with his stage interpreters, calling the plays "lyrical comedies" (or lyrical dramas ). The dispute was never settled and finished. A. P. Chekhov with annoyance and irritation argued that "crying" mood deadly for his works and does not agree with his own intentions. S. Maugham in one of the essays on Chekhov, wondered: who is he - a tragedian or a comedian? After all, the finals of Chekhov's dramatic works are really tragic, but the plays themselves are full of comedic content, so that they can very well be defined as tragicomedies, and sometimes as tragic events.
A. P. Chekhov and here, within the specifics of the genre, remained an artist of truth. In fact, life in its image is so ridiculous that it is impossible not to laugh at it, but at the same time so ruthless and heavy that it is natural to cry over it.It is curious that the audience, deprived of stereotypes imposed on the viewer by the United States and Soviet stage tradition (Chekhov is certainly a lyric, minor), especially reacts violently to the elements of the comic that have been poured into his plays, bursting into laughter wherever it sounds unexpectedly (for example, Chebutykin's unexpected reply to the "Three Sisters" about the death of Tuzenbach: "One baron is more, one less" - or the revelations of Andrei Prozorov ("Three Sisters") about own "She's honest, decent, well, kind, but there's something about her that belittles her to a petty, blind, sort of rough animal ...").
Chekhov's dramatic style is multivalued, it is open to the same diverse world and affects the spiritual state of the audience, overcoming the old, and new straight-line scenic patterns that do not correspond to the true author's design
Perhaps with this circumstance there are great difficulties in the formulation of Chekhov's plays, and in interpreting their content. The author's idea turns out to be infinitely more complicated than the definitions into which it is often transformed. Most often, the systemic expressions of the author's intention are not taken into account in such cases. For example, Astrov ("Uncle Vanya") says, referring to Elena Andreevna Serebryakov: "In a person everything should be fine: both the face, and the clothes, and the soul, and the thoughts." This usually effectively sounded the phrase broke off, but it had a continuation, extremely important for understanding the general Chekhovian idea: "But ... because she only eats, sleeps, walks, enchants us all with her beauty - and nothing more. She does not have any responsibilities, others work for her ... Is not it? And an idle life can not be pure. "
Thus (it should be finally recognized), similar slogans that adorn Soviet gardens and parks, belonged not so much to Chekhov as to his straightforward interpreters, crippling his thoughts, regardless of the logic of the author's idea, nor with systematic text.
A. P. Chekhov widely uses in his dramatic technique the principle of contrast, manifested in various forms, but constantly removing the pathos of some of the revelations of his characters. The agitated monologue of Dr. Astrov on forests, having reached its peak, is tempered in the most prosaic way: "orator" with pleasure ... drinks a glass of vodka. Similar kind of contrasting episodes are accompanied by rave verbal "antics" philosophizing Vershinin ("Three Sisters") or Gaeva with his recitation ("The Cherry Orchard"). The same kind of functions are performed by author's remarks: for example, in the "Seagull" Masha, enthusiastically speaking about Treplev, interrupts the author's invasion: "It's heard how snoring Sorin". Or the appearance at the most inopportune moment of a comic character, Simeonov-Pishchik, who rushes on stage at the time of the disaster (departure from the sold estate of its inhabitants) with the news of another happy accident that saved him for a while from a debt prison and complete ruin. Or replicas of the person who does not tie in with the drama experienced by the event. Masha ("The Three Sisters") at the moment of her farewell to her beloved (Vershinin), whom she will never meet again, suddenly turns to an unexpected recitation:
Masha ( holding back sobs ). At the seacoast, the oak is green, the golden chain in the oak tree ... the golden chain in the oak tree ... I'm going crazy ... At the seashore ... the oak is green ...
In the same situation set the author and Astrov. After the recent upheavals and departure of the Serebryakovs he "accidentally" comes to the map of Africa, by some coincidence, turned out to be in the provincial estate of Voinitskikh, and his strange remark sounds - a man devastated, knocked out of his usual rut: "And, must be, in this very Africa, now the heat is a terrible business! "Yes, probably," - with the same detachment notes Vynitsky.
The contrast of the construction of a dramatic art system is a Chekhov-sanctioned device, which was either often not seen, or deliberately rejected by its interpreters. In the famous avant-garde production of Yu. P. Lyubimov, "Three Sisters" was found a bright director's decision of one of the episodes associated with the "preaching" Vershinin about a new happy future, which will come in 200-300 years: a military band appeared on the stage and as the hero more and more was animated, the sound of the orchestra, drowning out the character, also grew, so that his lively gesturing was visible, but not I could hear words. As a stage decision, this discovery was quite witty, however, first, it presupposed people who knew the text, i.e. few of the spectators sitting in the hall, and secondly, Chekhov did not need such adjustments, since such passages, wherever they sounded in his plays, have always been reduced, neutralized, getting a comic shade, brought down to earth or skeptical perception of others, or by the heroes themselves, represented by the author in the form of a kind of "eccentrics" (Vershinin, Petya Trofimov). Chekhov's dramaturgic technique is flawless in this sense: he never allows pathos to violate the realities of the characters and translate them into artificial theatrical roles of the idealist heroes. The light and shadow of Chekhov are perfectly adjusted. Directors, disregarding this circumstance, still arbitrarily interpret it, enter into involuntary polemics, raising Chekhov's heroes to the curbs, or demonstratively reducing what the author has already reduced, is subjected to comic comprehension.
Another characteristic feature of Chekhov-playwright, reminiscent of his own prose writer's methods, is connected with the fact that he clearly the texts of his plays. In Seagull This is a recurring image of the seagull, connected with the fate of Nina Zarechnaya; in Uncle Vane - the theme of a ruined life, sacrificed to circumstances (Astrov) or deified nonentity, Professor Serebryakov (Voinitsky); in Three Sisters - the unattainability of the dream becoming increasingly phantom in its repetitions about Moscow. At the same time, distinct stages of the development of artistic ideas are clearly and distinctly distinguished. As in prose, the author usually uses a specific episode or image, sharply "crossing out", separating the successive stages of the movement of the common artistic system. For example, in the Cherry Orchard, almost devoid of scenic action, such an eloquent detail becomes repeatedly and repeatedly varied situation - telegrams from Paris received by Ranevskaya: the first is torn, not read, the second is read, the third is a call to action , to return to Paris, i. e. towards the final death.
Sluggish, sluggish scenic action is compensated for in Chekhov by sharp bursts of drama, concluded in such repetitive artistic details or in the reception of the composition frame, which the author is able to sharply emphasize the dynamism of the events that took place. For example, in the first act of the "Three Sisters" even before the appearance of Natasha, the future wife of Andrei Prozorov, Olga's remark sounds: "Oh, how she dresses!" Not that it's ugly, not fashionable, but just pathetic. Some strange, bright, yellowish skirt with a sort of faded fringe and a red blouse ... In the finale, already in the end of the last action, this petty bourgeois, short-sighted and vulgar, dictating to all her will, destroying the dream, living in the souls of her sisters, categorically utters, referring to Irina: "Darling, this belt is not at all to your face ..." It's bad taste ... I need something light. " The heaviest life drama unfolding in the play was taken by the author in a composition ring - a kind of hidden paraphrase, accentuating the dramatic nature of the events that have occurred, a sharp transformation of the exposure material into its opposite.
Numerous director's incarnations of Chekhov's plays in the spirit of the underground unwittingly emphasized another feature of his dramatic technique. It should be noted that even with extreme formalization, which does not take into account nature and the norms of drama as a certain kind of artistic creativity, when heroes are offered conditional existence in absolutely conventional scenography, when characters, ensembles, and events are destroyed, in short, everything that could be destroyed in a dramatically meaningful action, the magic of Chekhov's thought still persists despite everything. However, these ruthless experiments with the author give grounds to conclude that Chekhov's theater is the theater of Chekhov's Words, ie. clearly structured verbal-textual text, where its own "dramaturgy" is hidden. in the development of author's artistic ideas, peculiar to his prose.
The most important sphere of innovation of Chekhov-playwright is in conflicts of his plays. Drama usually searches for acute events, clashes, the struggle of actors. Here, there is no rivalry of individual wills, evil or good motivations, no cool swirling intrigue. Everything seems to be born out of circumstances that develop in one way or another, from higher laws than individual aspirations of people. AP Chekhov shattered the theatrical role, his dramaturgy required a new acting technique. The playwright felt this already in his first "serious" play, in "Ivanov", saying that he wrote a thing where there are no "angels" nor "villains". He already had to explain to the actors of his heroes: especially Dr. Lvov, Shabelsky, and finally Ivanov; the performers interpreted them in a very monotonous, straightforward manner, using the usual notions of scenic canons.
The other side of the conflict of human plays is the return to everyday life. "The general question," wrote AP Skaftimov, "about the moral untruth between people, Chekhov transferred to human everyday life, into the sphere of the familiar, everyday and therefore insignificant, when moral coldness and injustice are committed without struggle, without intention, without understanding its meaning." . In fact, such a definition is nothing but a paraphrase of the well-known Chekhovian thought that everything on the stage must occur as simply and imperceptibly as in the life itself that surrounds us. Such definitions grasp only the external form of the manifestation of the conflict, but not the spiritual and spiritual content of it. It still remains unidentified, not defined in clear scientific definitions.Finally, another important point of the mystery of the impact of the Chekhov plays is what is called the undercurrent. VI Nemirovich-Danchenko once defined this concept as the author's ability to convey the mood through life, open "for external-household details and episodes of the presence of a continuous inner intimate lyric flow." KS Stanislavsky proceeds from the structural uniqueness of Chekhov's plays, where the threads of ideas are woven into a complex "burn" ideas, piercing the whole work. Later research in this area, perhaps, did not add anything substantially new to the positions expressed by the practitioners. It should be said that the latter continue and now make an important contribution to the comprehension of Chekhov's dramaturgic poetics. For example, the famous German director P. Stein as a result of many years of work on the productions of the "Cherry Orchard" comes to the conclusion: "The technique that the playwright enjoys is more like a composer's technique, necessary for composing a piece of music."
This attempt to bring the Chekhov drama beyond the bounds of verbal and theatrical creativity to the area of the so-called pure arts (architecture, music, etc.) brings Chekhov's plays closer to his prose. However, this issue remains insufficiently developed. It is undeniable that Chekhov, the playwright, opens up new horizons to theatrical art with his innovations.
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