No Comment, Quotation — February 6, 2008, 12:00 am

Chekhov – the Necessity of Redeeming the Past

chekhov_1898_by_osip_braz

??? ?????? ??? ???. ????? ?????? ? ?????????, ???? ?? ??? ????? ???????? ????. [?????.] ?????????, ???: ??? ???, ?????? ? ??? ???? ?????? ???? ???????????, ????????? ?????? ??????, ? ??????? ? ?????? ????? ? ????, ? ??????? ??????, ? ??????? ?????? ?? ?????? ?? ??? ???????????? ????????, ??????? ?? ?? ??????? ???????. . . ??????? ?????? ?????? — ???? ??? ?????????? ???? ???, ?????? ?????? ? ?????? ???????, ??? ??? ???? ????, ??, ???? ??? ?? ?????????, ??? ?? ?????? ? ????, ?? ????? ????, ?? ???? ??? ?????, ??????? ?? ?? ???????? ?????? ????????… ?? ??????? ?? ??????? ???? ??? ?? ??????, ? ??? ??? ??? ????? ??????, ??? ????????????? ????????? ? ????????, ?? ?????? ?????????????, ???????? ?? ????? ??? ???? ?????. ???? ??? ????, ????? ?????? ???? ? ?????????, ???? ??????? ???????? ???? ???????, ????????? ? ???, ? ???????? ??? ????? ?????? ??????????, ?????? ???????????, ??????????? ??????.

All Russia is our orchard. The land is great and beautiful, there are many marvellous places in it. [Pause.] Think, Anya, your grandfather, your great-grandfather, and all your ancestors were serf-owners, they owned living souls; and now, doesn’t something human look at you from every cherry in the orchard, every leaf and every stalk? Don’t you hear voices . . . ? Oh, it’s awful, your orchard is terrible; and when in the evening or at night you walk through the orchard, then the old bark on the trees sheds a dim light and the old cherry-trees seem to be dreaming of all that was a hundred, two hundred years ago, and are oppressed by their heavy visions. Still, at any rate, we’ve left those two hundred years behind us. So far we’ve gained nothing at all–we don’t yet know what the past is to be to us–we only philosophize, we complain that we are dull, or we drink vodka. For it’s so clear that in order to begin to live in the present we must first redeem the past, and that can only be done by suffering, by strenuous, uninterrupted labor.

Anton Pavlovich Chekhov, ????ë??? ??? (The Cherry Orchard), act ii (1904)(Trofimov)

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(1) To need his glasses and be struck by an awareness that they are not at hand, an ordinary enough circumstance for Frederick Douglass, except sometimes it’s accompanied by a flash of extraordinary dread. If not quite panic, certainly an unease disproportionate to a simple recurring situation. Dread that may be immediately extinguished if he locates his horn-rimmed, owlish-eyed spectacles exactly where he anticipated they should be. He sees them and almost sighs. Nearly feels their slightly uncomfortable weight palpable on his nose. Finding the glasses enough to reassure him that he remains here among the living in this material …
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(1) To need his glasses and be struck by an awareness that they are not at hand, an ordinary enough circumstance for Frederick Douglass, except sometimes it’s accompanied by a flash of extraordinary dread. If not quite panic, certainly an unease disproportionate to a simple recurring situation. Dread that may be immediately extinguished if he locates his horn-rimmed, owlish-eyed spectacles exactly where he anticipated they should be. He sees them and almost sighs. Nearly feels their slightly uncomfortable weight palpable on his nose. Finding the glasses enough to reassure him that he remains here among the living in this material …
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(1) To need his glasses and be struck by an awareness that they are not at hand, an ordinary enough circumstance for Frederick Douglass, except sometimes it’s accompanied by a flash of extraordinary dread. If not quite panic, certainly an unease disproportionate to a simple recurring situation. Dread that may be immediately extinguished if he locates his horn-rimmed, owlish-eyed spectacles exactly where he anticipated they should be. He sees them and almost sighs. Nearly feels their slightly uncomfortable weight palpable on his nose. Finding the glasses enough to reassure him that he remains here among the living in this material …
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