Anton And The German Essay

1666 words - 7 pages

Knipper September 4 Moscow At last a letter from you, dear Anton! I'm so glad you're in good health and working, I want you to be happy, not down, so you will come quickly. Oh, I feel troubled in my mind"¦ Your Olga The above excerpt was taken from a novel entitled Dear Writer, Dear Actress, The Love Letters of Anton Chekhov and Olga Knipper, by Jean Benedetti. The novel tells the love story between Chekhov and Knipper through their personal correspondence over a 5-year span. I intend to tell the story of this love and relate it to Chekhov the man and the writer. I will use a short story by Chekhov entitled The Lady with a dog. The aforementioned short was written in 1899, before Chekhov and Knipper became lovers and were deep in correspondence as friends. Before we delve into the romance we must first familiarize ourselves with the friendship between Chekhov and Knipper. Knipper was thirty years old when they met, he thirty-eight, and already in the advance stages of tuberculosis. Their relationship lasted from April 1899 to July 1904 when he died. Chekhov first saw her in the spring of 1898 was she was an unknown actress. He was attending the rehearsal of The Seagull, which the newly formed Moscow Art Theater was intending on staging. Knippers role in The Seagull established her as a major star among Moscow audiences. She went on to play Elena in Uncle Vanya in the second season 1899-1900. Then followed the two roles Chekhov wrote especially for her, Masha in Three Sisters and Ranevskaya in The Cherry Orchard. Knipper continued acting some fifty years after Chekhov's death but never gained the success she had had with his plays. In her later years she attended a performance of Three Sisters at the Moscow Art Theater, in which the parting scene between Masha and Vershinin was performed. At the very climactic moment a voice rang out from the boxes speaking the line before the actress could, it was 80-year-old Knipper performing "˜her' line. Ironic, that through all there years together it was their passion of theater that kept them apart. Her commitments to the theater and his need for the warmth of Yalta his "˜hot Siberia' as he called it, in order to stay alive. (Benedetti, ix) (That is the only reference to Chekhov's life story not pertaining to he and Olga's relationship I will refer to. Anyone reading this paper I would assume has a basic knowledge of Chekhov and any further information by me I feel would be a redundancy.) Knipper and Chekhov wrote many letters to each other over the years all showing a fondness for each other, whether it is in playful banter or serious declarations of love. Starting their friendship in 1899 the letters written would not be considered scandalous at all not even to 19th century Russia, instead they were stories of travels, work, family and friends. All this culminated to a July night in Yalta where Knipper went to spend the holidays with Chekhov,...

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