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Chekhov Part I Audio Cassette – Audiobook, Apr 2000


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Audio Cassette, Audiobook, Apr 2000
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Product details

  • Audio Cassette
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audiobooks (April 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786117567
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786117567
  • Product Dimensions: 24.5 x 17.6 x 5.7 cm

Product Description

From the Back Cover

Anton Chekhov's life was short, intense and dominated by battles – either with his dependants or with the tuberculosis that was to kill him at forty-four. He was one of the greatest playwrights and short story writers ever born but he was torn between medicine and literature, as he was between family and friends, between a longing for solitude and a need for company. His family life was at times made a hell by a monstrous father, a possessive sister and delinquent elder brothers; his own was tortuously balanced between the affections of a series of mistresses and a marriage to an actress that was nothing like as idyllic as it has traditionally been painted.

Donald Rayfield's biography strips the whitewash from the image of Chekhov and shows us what lay behind his restrained, ironic facade. The result does not denigrate him, but shows him in the full heroism of his brief but prodigiously creative life. Rayfield has spent over five years combining the Chekhov archives all over Russia (Chekhov was a restless traveller for the whole of his life, from Siberia to the Cote d'Azur), uncovering thousands of documents and letters from lovers, friends and family, most of them never published before, which culmulatively tell of a life far more entangled and turbulent than we ever previously suspected. The many cuts made in Soviet and foreign editions of Chekhov's and his wife's letters have been restored from the originals; what once was hidden is now revealed.

Chekhov's biography has an extraordinarily rich cast of characters – amongst them Gorky, Tolstoy, Tchaikovsky, the press baron Suvorin, the great landscape painter Levitan and his wife Olga Knipper, widely acknowledged as the greatest female interpreter of his work. 'Anton Chekhov' is a vivid portrait of Russia and Russian society a hundred years ago, as well as an investigation of the emotions, ideas, conflicts and experiences which Chekhov built into his stories and plays. Above all it is the moving story of an artist's sometimes ruthless, often covert fight to save his creativity from strangulation by illness and family. It will establish itself as the definitive modern biography.

"Without question the definitive biography of Chekhov, and likely to remain so for a very long time to come. Donald Rayfield starts with the huge advantage of much new material that was prudishly suppressed under the Soviet regime, or tactfully ignored by scholars. But his mastery of all the evidence, both old and new – a massive archive – is magisterial, his background knowledge of the period is huge; his Russian is sensitive to every colloquial nuance of the day, and his tone is sure. He captures a likeness of the notoriously elusive Chekhov which at last begins to seem recognisably human – and even more extraordinary."
MICHAEL FRAYN

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Donald Rayfield is Professor of Russian at Queen Mary College, University of London. He was educated at Dulwich College and Magdalene, Cambridge. He is the author of ‘Chekhov: The Evolution of his Art’ (1975), as well as many other books and articles on Chekhov’s life and work, and on Russian literature.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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