Only one disputable truth has been uttered about love, which is that “this it is a great mystery”, as it says in the Bible; nothing else that has been written and uttered about love has provided any kind of answer, but merely posed a set of problems which remained without a solution. The explanation which seems to be right for one particular set of circumstances turns out to be wrong for a dozen others, and so the best one can do, as far as I can see, it to assess each situation on its own terms, without trying to generalize. As doctors say, you should treat each case individually. (About love , Anton Chekhov, 1898, Oxford World’s Classics)
My relationship with Chekhov in the English language has more meaning, as recentely a young prolific Romanian actor/director has asked me to translate the four acts play – Three Sisters.
Right now I am reading his collection of stories translated by Rosamund Bartlett and edited by Oxford World’s Classics, which I bought from Humanitas Kretulescu Bookshop.
As an authorised bilingual translator, it really interests me to discover authors in many languages and to see various translations, interpretations of their works.
So my relationship with Chekhov in English is quite new, but it seems like we bonded since the very first page.
I would like to write a few facts that are linked to this relationship as well – some theater shows I saw in Bucharest in 2011, 2012 and 2013, which are Ivanov, The Cherry Orchard and the Seagull.
Although I am closer to the English culture, feelings and manners more than to any culture, I really believe that due to Romanian’s tens of years connection to Russia, the theater shows that I saw come closer to the author’s intentions while writing his plays that their English versions.
Romanians, as Russians, are very fond of sufference anf these theme can be easily noticed mostly through literature, theater, film and music. There is an inexplicable fascination about love suffering as if it was a sin to suffer from love or a real disease. The most loved characthers are always enduring and passing through serious life tragedies. Out of the characters I met on stage, through the Romanian theater shows, I have always identified with the males.
-Treplieff, the depressed young writer who seeks the love of his mother, his relatives and the -woman he loved.
You can hear his story by listening to this audiobook:
-Ivanov, who runs away from any happiness and has no idea from where his suffering comes from.
Also his story is available on an audio material, with voices of Vivian Leigh and John Gielgud:
-Lopakhin, the rich man whose love is so deep that he hurts to distruction the one he loves.
Of course there is an audiook with the whole story:
Today, after 155 years , Chekhov is living through his work and as long as there are bookshops and theaters, we will be grateful to meet his work in its various interpretations.