The recent boom in ecological criticism invites reconsideration of the role nature plays in the works of Anton Chekhov. Drawing on existing accounts of nature in Chekhov’s fiction as well as in Russian literature and culture more broadly, this thesis reveals a crucial and previously unrecognized affinity between five of Chekhov’s most celebrated stories: “The Kiss” ([speical characters omitted], 1887), “Fortune” ([speical characters omitted], 1887), “Gusev” ([speical characters omitted], 1890), “The Man in the Case” ([speical characters omitted], 1898), and “The Lady with the Little Dog” ([speical characters omitted], 1898). In each of these otherwise unrelated stories, nature complicates the characters and the stories they tell themselves and one another. In some cases, nature gives the characters new insights and helps them to evolve. In others it gives readers a new understanding that the characters themselves do not share. In all cases nature in Chekhov’s works opens a broader perspective, dwarfing the characters and their existential anxieties by the immensity of land, water, or cosmos. Ultimately, Chekhov presents myriad ways in which nature frames and exceeds human experience, incites and resists narrativization.
|Commitee:||Leiderman, Mark, Osterman, Laura, Porter, Jillian|
|School:||University of Colorado at Boulder|
|School Location:||United States -- Colorado|
|Source:||MAI 58/02M(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Literature, Slavic Studies|
|Keywords:||Chekhov, Fiction, Literature, Narrative, Nature, Russian|
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