Opening The Notebook of Trigorin: Tennessee Williams’s Adaptation of Chekhov’s The Seagull


Zackary Ross


Through an analysis of his letters, journals, and Memoirs, this paper traces Tennessee Williams’s interest in adapting Chekhov’s The Seagull and examines how his understanding of Soviet policies regarding homosexuality, in addition to the homophobia he experienced in the United States and Europe, may have influenced his adaptation, The Notebook of Trigorin. The study explores how these factors, along with the strong sense of identification Williams felt with various homosexual Soviet artists like Diaghilev, Nijinsky, and Nureyev may have led Williams to introduce Trigorin’s bisexuality as an act of defiance and a challenge to the sanctity of the sexual normative lifestyle within the Soviet Union.

Comparative Drama is carried by JSTOR and Project MUSE.