"Rayfield has done Chekhov and his readers a great service. His efforts have uncovered a Chekhovcomplex, troubling and ambiguouswho finally feels right as the man behind the art." New York Times Book Review
Anton Chekhovs life was short, intense, and dominated by battlesboth with his dependents and with the tuberculosis that was to kill him at age 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. When he was a child, his family life was at times made a hell by a monstrous father, a possessive sister, and delinquent elder brothers; his own adult life was tortuously balanced between the affections of a series of mistresses and a marriage to an actress that was not as idyllic as it has traditionally been painted.
Donald Rayfields 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, prodigiously creative life. Rayfield has spent more than three years combing the Chekhov archives all over Russia (Chekhov was a restless traveler for the whole of his life, going from Siberia to the Cte dAzur) and has uncovered thousands of documents and letters from Chekhovs lovers, friends, and family, most of them never published before, which cumulatively tell of a life far more entangled and turbulent than we ever previously suspected. The many cuts made in Soviet and foreign editions of Chekhovs and his wifes letters have been restored; what once was hidden is now revealed.
Chekhovs biography has an extraordinarily rich cast of charactersGorky, Tolstoy, Tchaikovsky, the press baron Aleksei Suvorin, the great landscape painter Isaak Levitan, and Chekhovs wife, Olga Knipper, widely acknowledged as the greatest female interpreter of his work. Anton Chekhov is a vivid portrait of Russia and Russian society one hundred years ago, as well as an investigation of the emotions, ideas, conflicts, and experiences that Chekhov built into his stories and plays. Above all, it is the moving story of an artists sometimes ruthless, often covert fight to save his creativity from strangulation by illness and family. It will establish itself as the definitive modern biography.
Fred Williams, a graduate of the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, works in theater, film, TV, and radio in England, Ireland, and America. Besides narrating audiobooks, he is a performer in living-history re-enactments, an archer, and a poet.
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Narrated By : Craig Deitschmann with a supporting cast
Published By : Blackstone Audio Inc
Categories : Politics
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