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Chekhov's Poetic and Social Realism on the Italian Stage, 1924-1964.


This article explores the introduction of Chekhov's plays to Italy through émigré circles in the first decades of the twentieth century, and traces how they were appropriated to suit the ideological exigencies of the time during the fascist period. It concludes with observations about Luchino Visconti's celebrated productions of the 1950s, which stressed the idea that Chekhov was first and foremost a political writer, and suggests how this particular view of the dramatist evolved in the early 1960s as the theatre once again reflected social attitudes and values.