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About Chekhov: The Unfinished Symphony (Studies in Russian Literature & Theory) (Studies in Russian Literature and Theory) [Paperback]

I.A. Bunin , Thomas Gaiton Marullo

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Book Description

15 Feb 2007 Studies in Russian Literature and Theory
Seven years after the death of Anton Chekhov, his sister, Maria, wrote to a friend, "You asked for someone who could write a biography of my deceased brother. If you recall, I recommended Iv. Al. Bunin...No one writes better than he; he knew and understood my deceased brother very well; he can go about the endeavor objectively...I repeat, I would very much like this biography to correspond to reality and that it be written by I. A. Bunin." In "About Chekhov", Ivan Bunin sought to free the writer from limiting political, social, and aesthetic assessments of his life and work, and to present both in a more genuine, insightful, and personal way. Editor and translator, Thomas Gaiton Marullo subtitles "About Chekhov", "The Unfinished Symphony," because although Bunin did not complete the work before his death in 1953, he nonetheless fashioned his memoir as a moving orchestral work on the writers' existence and art..." Even in its unfinished state, "About Chekhov" stands not only as a stirring testament of one writer's respect and affection for another, but also as a living memorial to two highly creative artists." Bunin draws on his intimate knowledge of Chekhov to depict the writer at work, in love, and in relation with such writers as Tolstoy and Gorky. Through anecdotes and observations, spirited exchanges and reflections, this memoir draws a unique portrait that plumbs the depths and complexities of two of Russia's greatest writers.

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Review

Praise for Ivan Bunin's "The Liberation of Tolstoy" "Marullo and Khmelkov have not only supplied us with a graceful translation, they have provided annotations, more voluminous than Bunin's original text, that display a breathtaking depth of knowledge about Bunin, Tolstoy, and Russian literature and culture in general. This is an invaluable contribution." --"Publishers Weekly"

About the Author

Ivan Bunin (1880-1953), a poet and writer of short fiction, won the Nobel Prize in literature in 1933. Three of his works, Night of Denial (2006), The Liberation of Tolstoy: A Tale of Two Writers (2001), and The Life of Arseniev (1994) are published by Northwestern University Press. Thomas Gaiton Marullo is director of the Program in Russian and East European Studies at the University of Notre Dame.

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Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Filled with fascinating, intimate details 17 Oct 2008
By Paul E. Richardson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Bunin knew Chekhov quite well, and this unfinished biography is filled with fascinating, intimate details from the interludes when the two authors' lives intersected, when they talked about Russia and its future, about writing and writers (Gorky is a recurrent theme). And Bunin is particularly good at thrusting us back to the turn of the 20th century, when Tolstoy, Stanislavsky, Balmont, Gilyarovsky and others walked the Earth. As revealing about the biographer as it is about the subject (thanks to copious footnotes and an extremely informative introduction), this is a must read for anyone with any interest in Russian literature. (Reviewed in Russian Life)
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