Friday, June 01, 2007

... It has all subsided at last, and I sit as before at my writing-table and compose stories with untroubled spirit. You can't think what it was like! ... I have already told you that at the first performance there was such excitement in the audience and on the stage as the prompter, who has served at the theatre for thirty-two years, had never seen. They made an uproar, shouted, clapped and hissed; at the refreshment bar it almost came to fighting, and in the gallery the students wanted to throw someone out and two persons were removed by the police. The excitement was general.......

The next day after the performance there was a review by Pyotr Kitcheyev in the Moskovsky Listok. He calls my play impudently cynical and immoral rubbish. The Moskovskiya Vyedomosti praised it....

If you read the play you will not understand the excitement I have described to you; you will find nothing special in it. Nikolay, Shehtel, and Levitan--all of them painters--assure me that on the stage it is so original that it is quite strange to look at. In reading one does not notice it.


-A Letter of Anton Chekhov after the premier of his play Ivanov.

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