Ivanoff


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First performed in 1889.



Fiodor Korsh, owner of the Korsh Theatre in Moscow, Russia, commissioned Chekhov to write a comedy. It was first performed in St. Petersburg in 1889.



The play tells the story of Nikolai Ivanov, a man struggling to regain his former glory. For the past five years, he has been married to Anna Petrovna, a disinherited 'jewess', who has become very ill. Ivanov's estate is run by a distant relative, Mikhail Borkin, who is frequently advising people on how he can help them make money.


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Recent Forum Posts on Ivanoff

Ivanov by Anton Chekhov

In the story does Anton use any Mythology or biblical terms? What would the main theme be in the story Ivanov?


Woman's desire to shape man into perfection

The one thing about Chekhov is that although he creates great drama, he also creates very dislikeable characters. I almost get the feeling that Ivanov was inspired by a real life person who Chekhov disliked and thus experimented with - 'let's make him kill himself'. Despite this, it is evident that he has tried (and succeeded, I believe) to sympathise with Ivanov, who is so dislikeable the reader almost feels as if the suicide is justifiable. The other character who is as dislikeable is Sasha, who believes that she is able to succeed where Anna (Ivanov's wife) has failed, and that is to provide happiness to and mould Ivanov into perfection. Chekhov's insight into this character type is incredible - more than a hundred years later, 'she' is still around. If I look into the psychology of the young adulteress today, I'm certain I will see Sasha in them. Most women want to redeem a man, possibly because she feels guilt for bringing him down in the first place, if the Adam and Eve story is to be believed.


Chekhov-talk

Who will talk about Chekhov, since he is so fantastic!?! Most people have not read Ivanoff, let along seen it. Neither have I although I should have seen Kevin Kline do it 6 or 7 years ago. Anyways, this play is a gas. Although the ending is sad, Ivanov should be a 50% comic character and 50% serious. He's fallen apart after having married, plus he is totally unkind to his wife (she is sick and near death). The Doctor (Lvov) detests Ivanov and faces him with his totally reprehensible behavior. They get into a debate as to who ever understands another person, let along understanding oneself. Ivanov also laments at length about the change that has destroyed his youthful energy, aspirations and ideals. A youthful gal wants to marry him (I think he says everyone says he's a Hamlet-type) but he can't believe in this either. Okay, who wants to get some muscle into the Chekhov part of this Literature Network. Chekhov is one of the zeniths of literature. Talk about Ivanov, The Sea Gull, Uncle Vanya, The Three Sisters, Cherry Orchard -- all earthshaking plays.


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