Anton Chekhov's popularity in the west is without parallel being a foreign writer. Chekov has been absorbed into our culture, and accepted as one of our own. His plays lend themselves easily to the stage, calling for actors with intelligence and common sense rather than a dramatic voice or histrionic skills.
Chekov takes from everyday life themes of frustration which apply to us all - the difficulty of carving out a happy existence, the problems of love, the fading of hope, the universal feeling that time passes and we never quite get things right. This seems pessimistic, and yet Chekhov claimed he was writing comedy. Yet, whether tragic or comic, his writings are works of the first importance.
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