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Reviews 193 Chaplin, one may well wonder whether silent film did not give people an appreciation of pauses, gestures, and silences which sensitized them to Chekhov’s subtleties. At any rate, the role of film complements the role of the war in formulating an answer to the question with which Brooks Atkinson began his review of the 1929 Chekhov season: “How does it happen that plays once avoided as lugubrious and shapeless now appear to be etched in light?” (349) It is most informative to read here the comments by William Lyon Phelps of Yale, an early American proponent of Chekhov, and to read Frances Hackett’s suggestion that if Americans want to understand The Three Sisters on their own terms, they should think of it as taking place in Kansas. And although we do not think of Edmund Wilson as a drama critic, as early as 1923 he could define Chekhov’s art as “an art of underemphasis and deliberately unfolded effects” (236). But the real star of this anthology is someone who gets mentioned almost as often as Chekhov, at least in the middle half of the book. He is the director whose name in Russian transliteration is Fyodor Komisarzhevsky , or Theodore Komisarjevsky, as he spelled it during the London phase of his career. He came from a Russian theatrical family (his sister Vera was a great actress and director in prerevolutionary Russia), and the British repeatedly give him credit for interpreting Chekhov to them. Apparently, he was the first director who knew how to bring out Chekhov’s wonderful comic effects, and his work clearly deserves more detailed study. As I read these reviews and occasional pieces by the famous, the not so famous, and the anonymous, I frequently wished for the impos­ sible, as theater historians often do: to have seen some of these memor­ able productions. How, for instance, did Charles Laughton play Lopakhin in 1933? And was the appearance of Lillian Gish in Uncle Vanya in 1930 more than just a publicity stunt? In asking such questions, I am expressing my gratitude to Emeljanov for the meticulous research which produced this exemplary volume. He surely went through much more material than appears here, but he chose well and edited with care. He deserves the credit for the high standards of Chekhov: The Critical Heritage; Routledge and Kegan Paul deserve the blame for its high price. JAMES CURTIS University of M issouri-Columbia Ian Lancashire, ed. Tw o Tudor Interludes: Youth and Hick Scorner. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1980. Pp. xix + 283. $ 20.00. Paula Neuss, ed. Magnificence, by John Skelton. Baltimore: Johns Hop­ kins University Press, 1980. Pp. xvi + 229. $16.00. The casual reader of early Tudor plays, particularly anyone who has encountered them in turn-of-the-century editions, might find Youth (1513 or 1514?), or H ick Scorner (1514?), or Skelton’s Magnificence (1520- 194 Comparative Drama 22?) to be abstract, allegorical, and remote. These two recent Revels editions will help such readers move from the abstract to the concrete, or from the remote to the familiar. Indeed, these editions will bring the thoughtful reader to understand that the allegorical elements of these early plays are strongly bound to topical and political meanings. The new texts finally make it possible for a student of the drama to understand what is going on in Youth, for instance, without having to read a score of books and articles for important background material. Of course, these editions will have the reverse effect as well. Certainly some readers who have previously ignored early Tudor drama will be moved to read more widely and deeply in the literature of the period as a consequence of having these thoroughly edited texts available to them. Ian Lancashire’s edition, which contains both Youth and H ick Scorner, comes with a 71-page introduction (with 265 footnotes), a map, and four appendixes which add another two dozen or so pages of critical and scholarly commentary. The footnotes to the text itself are generous, and many a page is made up of some 12-15 lines of dialogue which perch upon fully three-quarters of a page of notes...


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