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A letter from an alum about Amos Oz

December 16, 2003

My respect for Amos Oz notwithstanding, I should note that his remarks quoted in the December 17 issue of PAW are overly optimistic and inaccurate in regard to Chekhov.

Oz would like the Israel-Palestinian conflict to be resolved in a Chekhovian ending in which everyone is unhappy but alive.

In point of fact, The Seagull ends with a suicide, The Three Sisters with a duel and the killing of Tuzenbach, and The Cherry Orchard with poor Firs immured and ready to quietly give up the ghost.

I sincerely hope that the false optimism in Chekhov's regard does not also apply to the Geneva Accord possibilities of resolving the Israeli tragedy. In both cases, one suspects, attention to detail will serve the protagonists well.

Nicholas Rzhevsky *72
Professor of European Languages, Literatures, & Cultures Director of Graduate Programs
Dept. of European Languages, Literatures, & Cultures State University of New York
Stony Brook, N.Y.

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