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Book Report: Uncle Vanya

The second of the three simultaneous auditions was for Uncle Vanya, which I read in Carol Rocamora’s translation in Chekhov: Four Plays. I can’t really speak to how good the translation was—reading Michael Frayn’s introductions to his translations but not his translations themselves has led me to a very strange place regarding Anton Chekhov in English. Or Tchekoff. Or Tchekhov. Anyway.

I still don’t really get the play. I mean, yes, there’s a lot of stuff I get about it—Jean himself is miserable, and the way in which his misery is brought to a head is both plausible and theatrical. The various crushes, one way and another, make a good deal of sense. And the doctor, who combines a grandiose idealism with a petty thoughtlessness the way some people do in real life and many of us like to think all idealists do, is in some ways a memorable character. But mostly, these are depressing people who behave badly, and I don’t see why people keep wanting to spend time with them.

Of course, I felt that way about Seinfeld.

I do wish that I had managed to see the local production that I wasn’t cast in. Although I suppose that it’s not somehow petty on my own part to want to see what they went with, when I would otherwise not be interested in the show, or at least not interested enough to go out and see it. But that’s how it is. And anyway, I was kinda busy, what with my own rehearsals, so it didn’t happen.

Tolerabimus quod tolerare debemus,
-Vardibidian.