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Chekhov Vs. Gor'Kii and the Moscow Arts Theater

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image of Russian History

For most of the twentieth century readers have been wondering how the version of A. P. Chekhov's famous play The Cherry Orchard could be subtitled "A Comedy." Unknown until now is the fact that Chekhov's manuscript was rewritten by the directors of the Moscow Arts Theater for a combination of political, aesthetic, and commercial reasons. This has been unknown until now because A. M. Gor'kii simultaneously wrote a competing play The Summer-Tenants which failed almost completely. Out of loyalty to Gor'kii's memory, Soviet scholarship for over seven decades concealed the true story of The Cherry Orchard.

Affiliations: 1: (University of Chicago, Chicago, U.S.A.


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