Ivanov: The perils of typicality
Reid, J. (2008) Ivanov: The perils of typicality. Bulletin of the North American Chekhov Society, XVI (1). pp. 19-44. Available from: http://eprints.uwe.ac.uk/10657
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The essay seeks to offer a fresh perspective upon Chekhov’s Ivanov as a political play that deploys a highly subtle rhetorical tool – a rhetoric of objectivity. While Chekhov deplored the use of fixed types and typologies, his attempt to undermine a key Russian stereotype of the period (‘the superfluous man’) is shown to depend upon a psychological typology of questionable validity, making use the concept of ‘excitability’.