By Donald Rayfield
The description 'definitive' is just too simply used, yet Donald Rayfield's biography of Chekhov advantages it unhesitatingly. to cite no much less an expert than Michael Frayn:
'With query the definitive biography of Chekhov, and sure to stay so for a long time to come back. Donald Rayfield begins with the large benefit of a lot new fabric that used to be prudishly suppressed lower than the Soviet regime, or tactfully neglected through students. yet his mastery of all of the facts, either outdated and new - an enormous archive - is magisterial, his historical past wisdom of the interval is massive; his Russian is delicate to each colloquial nuance of the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 lifestyles used to be brief, he used to be in simple terms forty-four while 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, briefly, unapologetically to copy that be aware 'definitive'.
'I do not take note any monograph through a Western pupil on a Russian writer having such good fortune. . . Nikita Mikhalkov stated that sooner than this booklet got here out we did not recognize Chekhov. . . the writer does not invent, upload or beautify something . . . Rayfield is stimulated by means of the Westerner's urge now not ot carry info again, although grim it could possibly be.' Anatoli Smelianski, Director of Moscow Arts Theatre School
'It is tough to visualize one other e-book 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 overlooked by means of his predecessors.' Nikolai Tolstoy, The Literary Review
'Donald Rayfield, Chekhov's top and definitive biographer.' William Boyd, Guardian
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