The formation of A.P. Chekhov’s literary reputation in Russia at the end of XIX – the beginning of XX centuries
Keywords:A.P. Chekhov, Literary Reputation, Literary Criticism, The Role of the Reader in the Literary Process
The article is devoted to one of the aspects of the formation of Chekhov’s literary reputation during his lifetime. Despite the fact that his literary destiny seems an easy and simple "success story", in fact, the situation was very difficult and influenced by numerous factors: literary, non-literary, historical, peculiarities of the social psychology of the intelligent reader, etc. Some of these factors reflected the regularities of the literary process, some reflected the role of chance. But the central factor was the conflict between professional and democratic criticism of the intelligent reader – the latter contrary to the opinion of critics defined Chekhov's glory. In order to understand this process it is necessary to refer to not only literary and critical materials of the late XIX century, but to a variety of sources, identifying the mood of the reader and not introduced earlier into literary circulation: newspaper essays, reader’s letters to Chekhov, newspaper parodies and satires, etc. The analysis of the formation of Chekhov's literary reputation in the aspect of this conflict has not previously attracted the attention of researchers.
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