Die Möwe Komödie in 4 Akten

by Anton Pavlovič Čechov

Other authorsKay Borowsky (Translator), Anton Tschechow (Author)
Paperback, 1991



Call number

KI 3244 M694



Stuttgart Reclam 1991


Drama. Fiction. HTML: The Seagull is the first of Anton Checkov's four full-length plays. It explores the romantic and artistic tension in the relationships between a young woman, a fading older lady, her playwright son and a popular story writer. The play references Shakespeare's Hamlet both in text and content. It has a cast of eclectic characters whose principle dramas play themselves out off stage and in unvoiced subtext. As this opposed the melodramatic theatre of the day, the play's first reception in 1895 was hostile. It later became a huge success..

User reviews

LibraryThing member Clara53
This is what I found in my experience: some plays read well - just like any novel, while others have to be performed to be enjoyed fully. To me, "The Seagull" is definitely of the latter type. Even though I've just re-read this play in its original language (my mother tongue) and should have been
Show More
smitten by Chekhov's prose, I wasn't. Ideas in the dialogues rang true, but the dialogues themselves didn't - again, on stage they probably would. The infusion of drama (some would say melodrama?) and the symbolism are, of course, undeniable. My favorite part was Trigorin's monologue about the essence of a writer's life.
Show Less
LibraryThing member scatterall
I saw a brilliant production of this play on Broadway (brought over from London) a few years ago, so I guess I wouldn't say read it, I would say, if you can see a first class production of it that gets the humor and doesn't make Kostya a clueless sad sack, sell part of your book collection to get a
Show More
ticket. For a writer, it's all about your worst nightmares. For anyone, the final scene between the two failed young lovers, and what follows, is devastating.

But reading it is worthwhile too. Just pick a good translation and remember that the author had a very dry and brutal sense of humor.

As a writer, I am always in awe of Chekhov. His characters, his dramatic structures, his settings, there is nobody like him. He was so good, in every way, and apparently once said he could toss off a salable short story about anything, about the ashtray in front of him. He was boasting, but I'm sure it was true.
Show Less
LibraryThing member JimmyChanga
This is a review of the performance I saw on May 28, 2011 in Atlanta, and not of the actual play as written.

Chekhov is one of my favorite writers and it pains me to see him performed in this way. It also pains me to trash an Atlanta production of a serious play (I do want to be encouraging,
Show More
afterall). Atlanta doesn’t often perform Chekhov, or anything halfway serious for that matter. It’s like we’re so afraid of boring the audience we have to make everything into an easy joke, which is why we never put on serious plays. But even when we do tackle Chekhov, we’re still going for those easy laughs.

Yes, I know it’s a comedy. But not in this way. Chekhov was subtle. Somehow this performance managed to make all the characters one-dimensional, which is not a word I would otherwise associate with Chekhov. The acting was horrible. There seemed to be entirely too much thought put into the set pieces and the movement of the actors around the stage (and the clever things they did in the background of the main action), and entirely too little attention paid to how the lines were actually delivered.

I don’t know how to write about bad acting. I can write about bad writing, but bad acting I do not have the vocabulary for. It just felt unnatural to my ears. It seems to me that there wasn’t enough attention paid to the silences between the lines, or the pauses where the thought comes before the words. It felt like a torrent of words without a real person behind them.

Anyway, I went home and read a few pages of this play (though in a different translation) just to make sure it wasn’t Chekhov’s fault. It wasn’t.

If anyone from this production is reading this, then I’m sorry if I hurt your feelings and please excuse my harshness. Don't stop trying to tackle hard plays, even if you fail every once in a while. If it’s any consolation, at least the Creative Loafing gave you guys a glowing review. Perhaps I don’t know what I’m talking about.
Show Less
LibraryThing member wonderperson
Bloody good but gloomy stuff, definitly realistic in the gloomy sense of the world.
LibraryThing member ctpress
Summary (on some review-page): The Seagull by Anton Chekhov is a slice-of-life drama set in the Russian countryside at the end of the 19th century. The cast of characters is dissatisfied with their lives. Some desire love. Some desire success. Some desire artistic genius. No one, however, ever
Show More
seems to attain happiness.

I’m a big fan of L.A. Theatre Works - but not even this fine audiobook-production with Calista Flockhart could save this “self-occupied” play.

A lot of modern existential ideas are at play here - a psychological story about self-centered artists who are unable to connect with each other or get any fulfillment out of life.

I’m now wondering if I should listen to more of Chekhov’s plays.
Show Less
LibraryThing member AlanWPowers
The best Seagull I've seen is Stoppard's at the Old Vic in London. In fact, I bought a signed copy of Stoppard's text--as an Eastern European, I figured his Russian was better than mine. His English is, too, I say having just seen his Arcadia for the third time, first time it made real sense; in
Show More
fact, one time at the Royal Court I sat next to a Cambridge prof whose history of English I had on my shelf in the states; he had returned twice because of the play's confusions. He should have come here to the Gamm Theater in Rhode Island, directed by Fred Sullivan, Jr, brilliantly. The academic played by the Gamm's Tony Estrella presented a great parody slide lecture; also, the presence of the computer made Thomasina the 18C prodigy's math insights all the more convincing.
Behind me in line for the Seagull at the Old Vic was the director of the Hong Kong Shakespeare Company.
Show Less
LibraryThing member jonfaith
How easy it is, Doctor, to be a philosopher on paper and, how difficult in real life.

The Seagull was a delightful exploration of binary contrasts, a meditation rocking the countryside as a mélange of folk gather by the shore of a lake for some Slavic R&R: adultery and suicide. I am only kidding.
Show More
Echoing Hemingway, one would imagine all of Mother Rus hanging themselves judging by the pages of its marvelous literature. The contrast between urban and rural is explored as is the space between art and labor. Regret happens to ruminate and the servants receive a whole ruble to divide amongst themselves. There's a play-within-the-play which somehow struck me as did Bergman's Through A Glass Darkly and everyone appears to be quoting Hamlet. Substitute a sea gull for an albatross and pen a portrait of the artist (or author) as lecher and Bob's your uncle (but not Vanya).
Show Less
LibraryThing member ekerstein
Very impressed. Feels crisp and modern. I prefer Chekhov's plays to his short stories.
LibraryThing member et.carole
A fairly standard setting of Russian drama, I feel, with drama and death and love and everything expected.


Original language


Original publication date


Physical description

78 p.; 16 cm


3150043190 / 9783150043196
Page: 0.2609 seconds