Trivial Niceties

I long to be a homosexual

Those Russian women

will eat you alive

I’ve been poor and hungry

 

at least I don’t

have thirty millimeter

cannons raining ignorance

down upon me

 

Allahu Akbar

children’s tears

the stomach pangs

are nothing compared

 

the town drunk

the city fiend

the country bum

abstract trivial niceties

 

If only Uber Macht

could be obtained

the higher men

breathe just the same

 

…just the sane

Over and Over

again, thin dust covered glass

repeating mechanical vibrations

on the thigh

and churning ink stained felled monoliths

this skin will never heal

what’s underneath withers

we align in many ways

the proverbial organ

torn in two

I know not what to do

broken urges are stems

solid do they rend

or how sacks of air

remain unaccustomed

for years on end

in each minute waits

a meaningless eternity

the turtle’s hair is beautiful

this fortress, inescapable

feeds desire, those tracks

will consume me

one of these nights

Chekhov’s Subtle Humor: Why The Cherry Orchard is a “Comedy in Four Acts”

Anton Chekhov did not arbitrarily deem one of his most famous works, The Cherry Orchard, as a comedy. There are a plethora of theories that essentially misunderstand Chekhov’s impetus for writing The Cherry Orchard in the way that he did. The most disheartening influence on his work after it was written was the director for the first production of his play: Constantin Stanislavski. The renowned director and actor interpreted The Cherry Orchard as a tragedy in the sense that the plot had affected each character’s super objective in a tragic way. Chekhov was adherent to a self-created fundamentalist form of realism that minimalized the importance of plot as an artificial construct- which was why Chekhov thought it was entirely irrelevant in relation to why the characters would act in the ways that they would. This was also the reason why Chekhov detested Henrik Ibsen’s work as too contrived because Ibsen often incorporated exposition. Since Chekhov had no interest in plot development as a primary function in his plays, he considered the way that his characters behaved as the humorous aspect in which a darkly dramatic play such as The Cherry Orchard could be considered a comedy.

As far as character behavior, Liubov Andreyevna was a prime example of how his characters were wrought with tragedy due to plot elements, specifically when Trofimov emerged, Andreyevna “[weeps softly] My little boy drowned, lost forever… Why? What for? My dear boy, why?(pg. 355)” yet Chekhov saw his character’s bemoaning as comedic in that they would not take responsibility for anything that happened: whether it was the death of their child, or the seizure of their estate. Ultimately, irresponsibility was the major theme of The Cherry Orchard in that the characters responded in a self-pitying way, although at times rightfully so. The best example of which was in the last lines, when the culmination of all the preceding irresponsibility was represented by poor old Firs having been trapped and easily accepting the absurdity of his circumstances: “Locked. They’re gone… They forgot about me. That’s all right; I’ll just sit here for a bit…. Should have looked…. He’s still all wet, that one…. Well, it’s all over now, and I never even had a life to live…. (pg. 385). For Chekhov, the hilarity of such an ending was in Firs’ contradicting words, in that he complained that he never had his own life, while simultaneously worrying that his master presumably forgot his coat. Thus, although many have not been able accept Chekhov’s idea of comedy, once a play such as The Cherry Orchard is analyzed in respect to the absurdity of character behavior under dire circumstances, then it must be realized that Chekhov’s objective was a subtle critique on upper-class irresponsibility, and labeling The Cherry Orchard as a tragedy would miss his point.

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Anton Chekhov, the vanguard of realism and subtlety in drama.