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Book Three Sisters (van Itallie) - Acting Edition by in a revised English version by Jean-Claude van Itallie Anton Chekhov (1995-10-01)

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Three Sisters (van Itallie) - Acting Edition by in a revised English version by Jean-Claude van Itallie Anton Chekhov (1995-10-01)

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Review Text

  • By Plume45 on July 28, 2005

    Obliged to move from their beloved Moscow to a provincial town in turn-of-the-century Russia three sisters feel stranded in this cultural and social backwater. They dream of a new life eventually back in Moscow, but readers sense that they are trapped by their circumstances-and their own poor or inevitable choices. Is it not natural that man finds the grass greener elsewhere? Struggling with impending spinsterhood, Irina and her younger sisters, Olga and Masha, still regret the death of their military father-who prized education for all four of his children. Privately they deplore the gambling excess of their brother, Andrey, from whom great things were once expected. AC peoples this four-act play with many characters whose first and middle names are frequently repeated (as if they were naughty children). The presence of the military has great impact on the little town, both economically and socially. Can there be life After the regiment? A baron and a doctor court two women; a young marriage is threatened. What to do with an old nurse who requires more care than she can now give? All these mechanizations are interspersed with plans for a better future, plus the intermittent philosophizing of certain characters on the value of Work versus Leisure in human life. A disastrous fire and an impending duel add elements of drama and tragedy to this work, which explores the ludicrous aspects of human nature from the viewpoint of characters who take themselves quite seriously. How will these sisters, formerly accustomed to a life of aristocratic ease, sort out their emotions and their prospects? Is it all in vain or are people permitted to choose and even be proactive in creating their own destiny? A fascinating peek into pre-revolutionary Russia by one her premier authors.

  • By Spirit Visitor on March 15, 2013

    This is a very smooth speakable translation of one of the greatest plays of the past centuries. The dialogue is simple and direct, leaving great room for subtext. however, the details of each character are sterling. In long speeches, the journey of Chekhov's passions, ideas and psychology finds a clean progression. Some spoken revelations of thought and feeling miss the deeper insights and profound expression, especially in the last act. a very worthwhile translation for scene study, the classroom or production.


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