Fulvio Franchi. The Experience of Sakhalin in Chekhov’s Works


  • Fulvio Franchi




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.


Chekhov, A. P. (1974–1983). Polnoe sobranie sochineny i pisem : v 30 t. Pis’ma : v 12 t. [Complete Works and Letters: 30 Vols. Letters: 12 Vols.]. Moscow, Nauka.
Durkin, E. (2008). Modeli khudozhestvennogo slova v chekhovskikh rasskazakh “V ssylke” i “Student” [Models of Artistic Writing in Chekhov’s Short Stories In Exile and The Student]. In Sobennikov, A. S. (Ed.). Filosofiya A. P. Chekhova : mezhdunar. konf. (Irkutsk, 27 iyunya – 2 iyulya 2006 g.): materialy (pp. 44–59). Irkutsk, Izd-vo Irkutskogo gos. un-ta.
Erenburg, I. G. (1960). Perechityvaya Chekhova [Rereading Chekhov]. 111 p. Moscow, Gosizdat khudozhestvennoy literatury.
Kataev, V. B. (2004). Chekhov plyus… : Predshestvenniki, sovremenniki, preemniki [Chekhov plus… Predecessors, Contemporaries, Successors]. 392 p. Moscow, Yazyki slavyanskoy kul′tury.
Roskin, A. I. (1959). A. P. Chekhov : stat′i i ocherki [A. P. Chekhov: Articles and Essays]. 432 p. Moscow, Gosizdat khudozhestvennoy literatury.
Stepanov, A. D. (2011). “Sakhalinsky khronotop” kak osnova poetiki pozdnego Chekhova [The Sakhalin Chronotope as a Basis for Chekhov’s Later Works]. In A. P. Chekhov i Sakhalin: vzglyad iz XXI stoletiya : materialy mezhdunar. nauch.-prakt. konf. 21–22 sent. 2010 g. / Pravitel′stvo Sakhalinskoy oblasti ; ministerstvo kul′tury Sakhalinskoy oblasti ;
Sakhalinsky gos. un-t. (pp. 23–28). Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, Kolorit. Sukhikh, I. N. (1985). “Ostrov Sakhalin” v tvorchestve Chekhova [Sakhalin Island in Chekhov’s Creative Work]. In Russkaya literature, 3, pp. 72–84.
Vysokov, M. S. (2010). Kommentary k knige A. P. Chekhova “Ostrov Sakhalin” [A Commentary for A. P. Chekhov’s Sakhalin Island]. 848 p. Vladivostok, Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, Rubezh.



How to Cite

Franchi, F. (2016). Fulvio Franchi. The Experience of Sakhalin in Chekhov’s Works. Quaestio Rossica, 4(4), 84–93. https://doi.org/10.15826/qr.2016.4.192



Vox redactoris