“The artist is not obliged to judge what he understands; his circle is as limited as any other. That in his sphere there are no questions, and always only answers, can be said only by those who have never written and who have not dealt with characters. The artist observes, chooses, invents, composes – only those actions in the beginning presuppose a question; if you did not ask yourself a question in the very beginning, then there is nothing to think about and nothing to choose from … Asking the artist for a conscious attitude towards the work, you are right, but you mix two terms: the solution of the question and the correct question. ‘’ – Anton Pavlovich Chekhov 

Chekhov … hmm .. big name in this small world. Why? THAT’S WHY. Because many sometimes look at his works very monotonously and present it in their heads only as a synonym for melancholy. And then we wonder why it is so big … because there are too many who do not know how to read it and even less to paint it in the theater. Chekhov is just a wonderful lyrical playwright who describes the everyday life of an ordinary person with a melancholy smile and cruel humor. 

Thomas Mann: “Everyone has to face the fact that man is a failure. His consciousness, which belongs to the soul, will probably never be in harmony with his nature … If anyone suffered from this, it was Chekhov.” 

Quite simply, Chekhov only criticizes human cowardice. When we see his works in the theater or while reading them, the least we can notice is that the characters live in the past, neglecting the present and not planning for the future. They are so caught up in their own memories that they simply do not know they are not breathing at all. Funny and painful, that’s why we see it as melancholy, because we are too weak to make fun of ourselves and say to ourselves that sometimes it is really hard to get out of a memory in which we just think it was our best version, we dare to define happiness and we do not know at all that happiness is just peace of mind and a smile, we are too weak to look in the mirror and admit who our “I” is, so we run into some vices that bury our courage. Doesn’t theater serve that purpose? Is not Chekhov with his irony and ridicule like an earthquake that should wake us up? In these works, in this small theater, for a small human soul, there is talk of “awakening”, does he ask a question and give a solution to himself … I would say only if you are ready to wake up, if you have not left it the brave who know how to do it.

For Camera Obscura

Rumena Shopova


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