CMU School of Drama

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Embattled and emboldened: Arts and culture in the age of Trump

LA Times: In these desperate political days when facts are being flicked away like flies, a minor incident in Anton Chekhov’s “The Three Sisters” keeps replaying itself in my mind.

Ivan Chebutykin, an army doctor and an old friend of the Prozorov family, carelessly drops an expensive clock that Irina, the youngest of the Prozorov sisters, tells him belonged to her dead mother, whom he once loved.

Chebutykin, who adores the sisters but drinks too much, curiously replies: “Very possibly. No doubt it was your mother’s if you say so, but what if I didn’t really break it, what if we only think I did? What if we only think we exist and aren’t really here at all? I know nothing and nobody else knows anything either.”

1 comment:

Sasha Schwartz said...

Outside of cries of “fake news”, reality is something that has been skewed and twisted so much in the past several months that it’s difficult to keep a hold on what is, or maybe more importantly, should be, “normal”. The connection the writer makes between Trump and Chekhov’s character is scarily accurate and fear- inducing- the fact that someone who so readily and blatantly denies the truth is right now in the position of the utmost power of the United States of America is terrifying, and I’m sure it is even more terrifying for those whose basic rights, family ties, and citizenships are directly threatened by someone who is spreading their racism and xenophobia across an entire nation. I think that this article takes on a slightly elitist tone (not everyone has resources/ access to being “enlightened” by reading, analyzing, or especially going to see plays such as Three Sisters, or King Lear, and I definitely don’t think that anyone who doesn’t experience plays such as these are immediately part of the “uneducated” that Trump was referencing during his campaign). However, I think that the correct sentiment is there; that we need to continue to question authority and contemplate what brought us to this point so that, in 20 years, these terrible and disgusting anti-human rights movements aren’t normalized to the point of being the law of the land without backlash.

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