Rayfield, Donald Anton Chekhov: A Life

ISBN 13: 9781470889449

Anton Chekhov: A Life

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9781470889449: Anton Chekhov: A Life

Chekhov's life was one long battle with his dependants and with the tuberculosis that was to kill him at the age of 44. This biography aims to show him in the heroism of his short life - at times made hell by a monstrous father, possessive sister and delinquent elder brothers. The drama of Chekhov's life took him all over Russia and the world. Using documents and letters, this work investigates the emotions, conflicts and experiences which Chekhov transmuted into his stories and plays.

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A noted scholar of the art of Anton Chekhov now turns to his life (1860-1904), with equally revelatory results. Rayfield's densely documented account avoids general statements in favor of quiet accumulation of detail that gradually creates a multifaceted impression of Chekhov's contradictions. Witty, charming, and an ardent lover of women, Russia's greatest dramatist was also coolly detached, capable of capriciousness and considerable cruelty. In Anton Chekhov, Rayfield does not attempt to tidy up a messily complex psyche or to downplay the faults that were as intrinsic to Chekhov's genius as were his merits.

About the Author:

Donald Rayfield is professor of Russian literature at Queen Mary and Westfield College, University of London. His books include Chekhov: The Evolution of His Art and Catastrophe and Comedy: Chekhov's Cherry Orchard.

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