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A.M. Gorky Institute
of World Literature
of the Russian Academy of Sciences

IWL RAS Publishing

A.M. Gorky Institute of World Literature
of the Russian Academy of Sciences


Povarskaya 25a, 121069 Moscow, Russia



Types of publications

About the author:

Yuri V. Domansky, DSc in Philology, Professor at the Department of theoretical and historical poetics, The Institute of history and philology, The Russian State University for the Humanities, Miusskaya Square, 6, 125047, GSP-3, Moscow, Russia; Senior Researcher at A.A. Bakhrushin State Central Theater Museum, Bakhrushina str., 31/12, 115054 Moscow, Russia.

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In this article we make an attempt to consider the issue of location by analyzing how Chekhov implies the words “estate” and “homestead” in his play “The Cherry Orchard”. It turns out that the word “estate” is not only placed in the dominant position in paratext when author indicates the place, but it is also frequently used in characters’ lines, while the word “homestead” is implied just once, viz in author’s notes that opens the second act; furthermore, the word is used as an adverbial and is followed by “road”-locus, so that characters never use the word “homestead” when they speak of the “estate”. Concurrently, the article discusses the considered-many-times-before question about the estate’s belonging. As it appears in the first and second acts of the play, the estate — in accordance with the paratextual notes — belongs to Ranevskaya, and nobody attributes its belonging to anybody else but to the Gayev family. At the same time, while pretending to be total, the first paratextual note is broken by the fact that in the third and fourth acts of the play events take place in the estate that doesn’t legally belong to Ranevskaya anymore. However, it doesn’t mean that the initial paratextual note is declined in the second part of the comedy. The initial note continues to be a true when it comes to the “estate”, since in its verbalized position it never becomes “Lopakhin’s estate” — no matter whose point of view is explicated, and some irony sounds in the words of the new owner when he calls himself “the new landlord”. Then, from all points of view, the “Lyubov Andreyevna’s estate” retains its status even after its transition on to the new owner. Thus, a closer look at the nominations of location in the Chekhov’s comedy makes it possible to comprehend at a deeper level some aspects of poetics of “The Cherry Orchard”, at least the aspects related to the interconnection between literary space, the sequence of events, and characters system.

  • Keywords: homestead, estate, literary space, drama, “The Cherry Orchard”, A.P. Chekhov.


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