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In the end, Professor Serebrekoff kisses the man who tried to murder him on the cheek, and jokingly reveals to him and an audience of other relatives that the trauma of almost-being-murdered has inspired him to write what would amount essentially to a self-help book. He then effectively tells them—each one of them with a good reason to wish that he had been actually-successfully-murdered—the following: Your hopes and dreams are all well and good. But they’ll come to naught unless you get to work: “do something, my friend! Work! Do something!” The professor’s daughter and her Uncle Vanya have, of course, been hard at work supporting him and trying to live vicariously through his ambitions: which, insofar as they are scholarly, might be another form of vicariousness. What they are actually looking for is rest. When are we at work, in the strictest sense? Is the professor at work—is a scholar at work—if his work consists of mulling over the leavings of actual artists and thinkers, rather than producing something wholly original? But then: is the artist or thinker really at work, if their efforts—original as they may be—end not with deeds but words or images? Does the most authentic form of work turn out, in a way, to be a kind of rest? Wes discusses Chekhov’s “Uncle Vanya” with actress, podcaster, and educator Monica McCarthy.