Adapting Chekhov: The Text and its Mutations, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Adapting Chekhov

The Text and its Mutations, 1st Edition

Edited by J. Douglas Clayton, Yana Meerzon


320 pages | 2 B/W Illus.

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This book considers the hundred years of re-writes of Anton Chekhov’s work, presenting a wide geographical landscape of Chekhovian influences in drama. The volume examines the elusive quality of Chekhov’s dramatic universe as an intricate mechanism, an engine in which his enigmatic characters exist as the dramatic and psychological ciphers we have been de-coding for a century, and continue to do so. Examining the practice and the theory of dramatic adaptation both as intermedial transformation (from page to stage) and as intramedial mutation, from page to page, the book presents adaptation as the emerging genre of drama, theatre, and film. This trend marks the performative and social practices of the new millennium, highlighting our epoch’s need to engage with the history of dramatic forms and their evolution. The collection demonstrates that adaptation as the practice of transformation and as a re-thinking of habitual dramatic norms and genre definitions leads to the rejuvenation of existing dramatic and performative standards, pioneering the creation of new traditions and expectations. As the major mode of the storytelling imagination, adaptation can build upon and drive the audience’s horizons of expectations in theatre aesthetics. Hence, this volume investigates the original and transformative knowledge that the story of Chekhov’s drama in mutations offers to scholars of drama and performance, to students of modern literatures and cultures, and to theatre practitioners worldwide.


"Recommended" --Choice

'Adapting Chekhov is an invaluable addition, not only to the field of Chekhov performance history, but to the growing body of criticism on adaptation. As the first collection to provide detailed analyses of significant international 'mutations' of Chekhov's texts, it can rightly take its place alongside so august a volume as Laurence Senelick's The Chekhov Theatre. Scholars of adaptation will find much to chew on in its theoretically and geographically varied case studies of a century's worth of post-Chekhovian writing and performance.'James Loehlin, Studies in Theatre and Performance

Table of Contents

Foreword Caryl Emerson, A. List of Tables Introduction: The Text and its Mutations: On the Objectives of the Volume J. Douglas Clayton & Yana Meerzon Part I: On Categories, Techniques and Methodologies of Mutation 1. Diagnosis and Balagan: The Poetics of Chekhov’s Drama J. Douglas Clayton 2. Rewriting Chekhov In Russia Today: Questioning a Fragmented Society and Finding New Aesthetic Reference Points Marie-Christine Autant-Mathieu 3.The Flight of the Dead Bird: Chekhov’s The Seagull and Williams’s The Notebook of Trigorin Maria Ignatieva 4. Talking and Walking Past Each Other. Chekhovian "Echoes" in Czech Drama and Theatre Veronika Ambros 5. Howard Barker’s Uncle Vanya: Chekhov Shaken, Not Stirred Charles LambPart II: Chekhov in the Post [ist] context 6. Transtextual Crossbreeds in Post-Communist Context: An Anthropological Analysis of Horia Gârbea’s The Seagull from the Cherry Orchard Diana Manole 7. Chekhov in the Age of Globalization: Janusz Glowacki’s The Fourth Sister Magda Romanska 8. Theatre and Subaltern Histories: Chekhov Adaptation in Post-Colonial India Bishnupriya Dutt 9. What Comes "After Chekhov?": Mustapha Matura and West Indian Reiterations of Three Sisters Victoria Pettersen Lantz 10. From Moscow to Ballybeg: Brian Friel’s Richly Metabiotic Relationship with Anton Chekhov Martine Pelletier Part III: Performing Chekhov in Radical Mutations 11. Daniel Veronese’s "Proyecto Chéjov": Translation in Performance as Radical Relationality Jean Graham-Jones 12. Canadian Chekhovs: Three Very Different Mutations James McKinnon 13. The Work of the Theatre: The Wooster Group Adapts Chekhov’s Three Sisters in Fish Story Sheila Rabillard 14. The Japanization of Chekhov: Contemporary Japanese Adaptations of Three Sisters Yasushi Nagata 15. Interrogating the Real: Chekhov`s Cinema of Verbatim. "Ward Number Six" in Karen Shakhnazarov’s 2009 Film Adaptation Yana Meerzon Afterword:Patrice Pavis, J. Douglas Clayton, and Yana Meerzon in Dialogue: On Chekhov, Adaptation, and Wonders of Writing Plays

About the Editors


J. Douglas Clayton is Professor Emeritus of Russian at the University of Ottawa, Canada.

Yana Meerzon is an Associate Professor, Department of Theatre, University of Ottawa, Canada.

About the Series

Routledge Advances in Theatre & Performance Studies

This series is our home for cutting-edge, upper-level scholarly studies and edited collections. Considering theatre and performance alongside topics such as religion, politics, gender, race, ecology, and the avant-garde, titles are characterized by dynamic interventions into established subjects and innovative studies on emerging topics.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PERFORMING ARTS / Theater / General
PERFORMING ARTS / Theater / History & Criticism