NABOKV-L post 0022060, Mon, 3 Oct 2011 22:23:38 +0300

Subject
Chekhov's gun in VN's play The Event
Date
Body
The Event, Act One:

Трощейкин. Шампанское есть, а конфеты принесут гости.

Трощейкин. Пари держу, что он явится в смокинге, как было у Вишневских.

Ibid., Act Two:

Входит Ревшин, пропуская вперёд старушку Николадзе, сухонькую, стриженую, в чёрном, и Известного Писателя: он стар, львист, говорит слегка в нос, медленно и веско, не без выигрышных прочищений горла позади слов, одет в смокинг.

Николадзе. Поздравляю. Конфетки. Пустячок.

Troshcheykin's predictions that Antonina Pavlovna's guests will bring sweets and that the Famous Writer will be wearing a dinner-jacket came thus true.

According to Lyubov', Barbashin said of plays: if in the first act there is a rifle hanging on the wall, in the third it should misfire. As if to confirm the correctness of this statement, the terrible killer Barbashin doesn't appear in VN's play. On the other hand, Troshcheykin's predictions in Act One that turned out to be true in Act Two suggest that the metaphorical rifle must go off in Act Three. And I think, it does go off after all (but, instead of Barbashin, the even more terrible Barboshin and, as a deus ex machina, Meshayev the Second appear in Act Three).

Alexey Sklyarenko

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