Fulvio Franchi. The Experience of Sakhalin in Chekhov’s Works
The author maintains that his journey to Sakhalin provided Chekhov with a new perspective on a harsh reality that was little known to the public. This problem concerned Chekhov a lot, and after his trip he wrote a scholarly and statistical work about his experience, thinking he would awaken society’s conscience. In Sakhalin Island, he offers his testimony as a humanist of what he saw, heard and lived through on the island. Even though Chekhov’s trip to Sakhalin Island was an important event in the author’s life, he did not often write about his experiences there in his works of fiction. Except for works where Chekhov mentions Sakhalin directly (The Murder), the author analyses many works that reflect Chekhov’s Sakhalin experience in the representation of the characters, in their way of thinking (The Murder, In Exile), or in their personal understanding of confinement (Ward N° 6). The author argues that Chekhov accentuates many “sore points” of the 20th century. Finally, the author concludes that Chekhov’s writing has a general spirit known as “dead silence”, which can be found in the creative works of many 20th-century artists.
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