Friday, August 14, 2009

The Seagull

Just watched a BBC production of Chekhov's first major play. I'd never read or seen any Chekhov prior to this, and the only thing I knew of Chekhov at all was what Michael Ryan used to say about his loaded guns, and Dickinson a master of this principle.

Well, the play, the production, was as moving as it was slow. It looked a little like a soap opera--the lighting, the portrait-shots pulled in very close, the kneeling and begging for love-- but it had so much emotional force as to be incomparable. His craft in arranging the coming and going of characters throughout the 4 acts, their well-placed, well written lines-- the complexity of the relationships throughout-- is what came clearly forward to me, what seemed to me to be his gift. Reading his quotes now on various adware infested quote sites, I find he was very conscious of the difficulty of writing about ordinary people, and the value in it.

I've been studying for the GRE, so that I've had on my mind Chaucer and his miraculous conversion of Aristocratic Italian forms to a varied English verse and prose that highlighted a cross-section slice of all demographical layers. Thinking now of people, of Konstantin's and my own obsession with ideas, of what Konstantin says: that he has become cold and lifeless-- at the age of 27!--for lack of love.


Kelly said...

Well, despite my own knowledge that this is true, your post testifies to the fact that you do not lack love. It's offered to you and you offer it back, freely.

Justin said...

Old Chekhov, offering love. Yes.