Vladimir Kataev: Anniversaries - out of Chekhovian attitude
Chekhov did not love anniversaries are it well-known. It is difficult to present Anton Pavlovicha accepting morocco folders - addresses with the congratulations beaten out by gold from officials. How to note 150 - letie the writer and thus not to drop out of its ironic style? These questions are answered with the doctor of literary criticism, the chairman of the Chekhovian commission of the Russian Academy of Sciences Vladimir Kataev.
Vladimir Kataev: Yes, anniversaries - out of Chekhovian attitude. Contrary to its desire have decided to celebrate its birthday - last during lifetime - at Art theatre, during premiere time “ the Cherry garden “. Chekhov has refused to go to the beginning, tried to prevent all that began to occur. He felt very not very well, during celebration in a break between certificates from a hall to it have shouted: “ Sit down! “ have put an armchair but while his name was mentioned, continued to stand.
Besides, Chekhov rather ironically concerned both anniversaries, and to anniversaries of the creativity. He spoke: I will be read as early as years by seven, and then will forget. Here he was mistaken: on Merkurii a crater named his name. When so it is a lot of love - ofitsioznosti it is uncomfortable.
: In reviews of new books about Chekhov considerably “ underwater “ desire to push off foreheads domestic and foreign chehovedov. Especially so far as concerns the best seller of London literary critic Donald Rejfilda “ Anton Chekhov. Life “. In a merit to the foreigner put “ validity “ (has got to the bottom of all archives) and “ honesty “ (did not begin to varnish an image of the writer): was four-eyes “ the fighter with all platitude “ and there was a high handsome man to whom anything human is not alien. And you are familiar with professor Rejfildom?
Kataev: it is very well familiar. We with it on “ you “. By the way, on the international conference “ Chekhov and world culture: a sight from the XXI-st century “ which now goes to the Moscow State University, Donald promised to arrive, has sent theses, but could not - has written: “ Crisis has concerned also us “. I read its book still on - anglijski. Also has suggested to translate into Russian.
RG: That it has opened such about what did not know Russian chehovedy?
Kataev: Anything about what we did not know. Donald has done very big work in the first years of reorganisation when it was easier to get access to the Russian archives, and has studied everything that is possible, connected with Chekhov. It was helped with it and ours chehovedy, and by workers of archives.
RG: And where there is a Chekhovian heritage? And who authorised for work with it?
Kataev: do not worry, not FSB. The archive most part, and the main thing - letters in which all are interested, - in “ Leninke “ In department of manuscripts. There access is free. It is necessary to receive the consent of the library. The second place - the Russian state archive of the literature and art on “ River station “. It is A lot of materials - in the Pushkin house, in Petersburg.
RG: the English researcher has interested the Russian reader in Chekhovian correspondence with Suvorinym. It is considered, what exactly in these letters Chekhov was especially frank, did not hesitate in thoughts and expressions. All correspondence with Suvorinym is published?
Kataev: It cannot be published, because letters of Suvorina to Chekhov are not found. They were, on the instructions of Suvorina, are withdrawn from Chekhov`s family after his death, and their destiny is unknown. Perhaps, they also have remained where - nibud in emigration. But while searches in what have not resulted.
RG: And still that prevented to be to the Soviet and Russian literary critics frank and authentic, describing Anton Pavlovicha`s life?
Kataev: Our literary criticism has stored experience of the most different penetrations into private life of writers. As to Chekhov, and we wrote something in comments to Complete works, to Chekhov`s letters. No decision of the Central Committee of party about an interdiction for illumination of private life of writers to which some western researchers refer, existed. And there were general publishing norms of Soviet period. As a whole comments to PSS very good. As Vasily Grossman joked: “ Why at us Chekhov so is resolved? Because its authorities simply do not understand “.
RG: That is communistic censorship of the classic has not concerned?
Kataev: Level of last academic publication of Chekhov in 30 volumes is very high. And it is recognised all over the world. After all then it has been decided to work over it? In 50 - e in the USA left years Gleb Struve`s article “ Chekhov in communistic censorship “ where detailed analysis of the previous full meeting in 20 volumes has been given and it was specified in set of denominations, admissions of ideological character. Where - that Chekhov positively responds about any western establishments or about figures of the western culture are have cleaned. Or have attributed to Chekhov ostensibly anti-Semitism inherent in it. In “ blue “ (volumes in a blue cover) the world criticism has been considered. Have solved: Chekhov does not need any ideological reduction in difference again - taki from other writers. Is, truth, and to this edition the essential claim: norms of modern spelling 70 - 80 - h years of the last century. And under editorial requirements of a word of that time “ God “ “ the Tsarina heavenly “ and so on wrote from a small letter. At Chekhov, naturally, from the big.
RG: It so is important for the writer who named itself non-believer?
Kataev: He said that has lost belief that bewildered looks at believing intellectuals. Chekhov`s father was, it is possible to tell, dogmatically believing. Forced the children to sing in church chorus, to observe all canons. To Chekhov it, by the way, was of use kind service. He unusually well knew the Scriptus text, texts of divine services. I would tell so: Chekhov kept love to the poetic party of religion. And still. All its creativity is got by the same problematics by which products of people of the believers who are thinking of god and sitting over problems of religious morals are got. It is impossible to tell that it had a God who was searched, say, by Tolstoy. Anton Pavlovich talked to Lvom Nikolaevichem about it and has kept scepticism. However, its story “ Duel “ comes to an end with words: “ Nobody knows the naked truth “. It seems that “ the naked truth “ on - chehovski is a synonym of God. It showed people who search for the ways to God, distinct from orthodox, about the standard.
RG: Tolstoy as - that has whispered to Chekhov: Shakespeare nasty wrote, and you are even worse. Nevertheless Chekhov after Shakespeare - the most demanded directors the playwright. I know that you practically do not pass world Chekhovian premieres. The most exotic remember.
Kataev: In India I looked “ Three sisters “ in language urdu. It was during the military conflict, Delhi is blacked out, but performance have not cancelled, the hall was full. And here on a scene doctor Chebutykin reads the newspaper. And the newspaper why - that “ the Soviet Belarus “. Rjazhenye should arrive, put Olga Voronets`s plate then was such in 60 - e - 70 - e years at us the popular singer. In general Russian colour rather amusing. But when has reached a scene of farewell of Masha with Vershinin, such silence was established, such emotions have been played on urdu - spirit has grasped. Or it is literally one of these days to me it was possible to look at the Finnish statement of the early youthful play “ Platons “...
RG: It is which has rejected Yermolov, and Mikhalkov has made on it “ the Unfinished play for the mechanical piano “?
Kataeva: It is a lie, its Yermolov at all has not read, has returned to Chekhov not opened package. And Finnish “ Platons “ amazes with that actors continuously whip vodka. Probably, so the director wanted to transfer “ Russian spirit “ plays. I, have by the way, noticed to the director that Finns too not nondrinkers. And he has told: “ This play about us! “ - “ about whom, about you? About Finns? “ - “ no, about people of today “. - “ But in the same place it is said, what Platons - the spokesman of Russian uncertainty? “ - “ but this uncertainty, confusion before life, is peculiar now and to us, Finns, and in general people “. The anti-recessionary play...
RG: One more point at issue: Chekhov - last classic or the first modernist?
Kataev: Our recognised postmodernists declare Anton Pavlovicha the predecessor.
RG: Theatre at theatre?
Kataev: Yes, and not only. There a lot of game and in behaviour of heroes, and in situations. That is many such signs which then began to be maintained in the postmodernism literature. But they and “ Evgenie Onegina “ consider as one of the first postmodernist products. There tsitatnost (a postmodernism sign) - from the first line. Remember Krylov: “ the Donkey was the most fair rules... “. In “ Three sisters “ in “ to the Seagull “ in “ to Uncle Vane “ “ the Cherry garden “ - it is full of citations. Another matter, Chekhov quoted absolutely with other purpose, than Sorokin, Pelevin or Kibirov.
RG: Doctors of that time mortally sick of a consumption submitted a champagne glass. It was also the sign for colleagues - to treat is useless. Whether truth that Chekhov the life has told at the last minute: “ the one who does not drink some champagne " does not risk;?
Kataev: Is not present, has told simply: “ For a long time I did not drink some champagne “ - has turned away and: “ I die “ (on - nemetski). Anything mysterious. Chekhov`s widow told that suddenly in a room the big black butterfly has flown and began to fight about a curtain. Yes ill-wishers said that he has told not Ich sterbe, and something another, conformable, very angry to the wife.
RG: Chekhov was the doctor how for a long time he knew, what it is mortally sick?
Kataev: the First krovoharkane has occurred in 1884, in a year of the termination of university. Favourite big brother Nikolay has died of a consumption. And already, probably, it was difficult not to recognise this danger, after after accident with “ the Seagull “ at Chekhov blood has gone a throat.
RG: And how much for those times Chekhov was the good doctor?
Kataev: For example, he with pride wrote that he has guessed illness of Leskova which anybody from other doctors could not define. And Grigorovich too.