By Donald Rayfield
The description 'definitive' is just too simply used, yet Donald Rayfield's biography of Chekhov benefits it unhesitatingly. to cite no much less an expert than Michael Frayn:
'With query the definitive biography of Chekhov, and certain to stay so for a long time to come back. Donald Rayfield begins with the large good thing about a lot new fabric that was once prudishly suppressed less than the Soviet regime, or tactfully neglected via students. yet his mastery of all of the facts, either previous and new - a major archive - is magisterial, his heritage wisdom of the interval is very large; his Russian is delicate to each colloquial nuance of the day, and his tone is bound. He captures a likeness of the notoriously elusive Chekhov which eventually starts off to appear recognisably human - or even extra extraordinary.'
Chekhov's existence was once brief, he was once purely forty-four whilst he died, and dogged with ill-health yet his performs and brief tales guarantee him of his position within the literary pantheon. here's a biography that does him complete justice, in brief, unapologetically to copy that notice 'definitive'.
'I do not have in mind any monograph via a Western pupil on a Russian writer having such good fortune. . . Nikita Mikhalkov stated that earlier than this e-book got here out we did not be aware of Chekhov. . . the writer does not invent, upload or adorn whatever . . . Rayfield is influenced via the Westerner's urge now not ot carry info again, in spite of the fact that grim it may well be.' Anatoli Smelianski, Director of Moscow Arts Theatre School
'It is tough to visualize one other publication approximately Chekhov after this one through Donald Rayfield.' Arthur Miller, Sunday Times
'Donald Rayfield's exemplary biography attracts on a frightening array of fabric inacessible or neglected by way of his predecessors.' Nikolai Tolstoy, The Literary Review
'Donald Rayfield, Chekhov's most sensible and definitive biographer.' William Boyd, Guardian
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Anton Chekhov: A Life by Donald Rayfield