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November 4, 1974

The Cherry Orchard

Author Affiliations

Beverly Hills, Calif

JAMA. 1974;230(5):669. doi:10.1001/jama.1974.03240050017005

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To the Editor.—  Shortly after I had read Dr. Macdonald's appreciative essay on Anton Chekhov (229:1203, 1974), I happened on a chapter titled "Chekhov and the Theater of the Absurd," one of several literary essays by Joyce Carol Oates in her book, The Edge of Impossibility (New York, Fawcett World Library, 1973, p 104).Much of what seems stunning and avant garde in the last two decades of theater has been anticipated in both theory and practice by Chekhov. For instance, one has only to examine the central issues of The Cherry Orchard and The Three Sisters— the hopeless, comic-pathetic loss of a tradition and the futile longings for Moscow—to see how closely Chekhov is echoed in Beckett's Waiting for Godot and other works.So writes Ms. Oates, whose analysis should be welcome to both Dr. Macdonald and Dr. Chekhov.