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 return. Donald Rayfield starts off with the large good thing about a lot new fabric that was once prudishly suppressed lower than the Soviet regime, or tactfully missed by way of students. yet his mastery of all of the facts, either outdated and new - an incredible archive - is magisterial, his history wisdom of the interval is massive; his Russian is delicate to each colloquial nuance of the day,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 ultimately starts off to appear recognisably human - or even extra extraordinary.'
Chekhov's existence used to be brief, he used to be simply 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, briefly, unapologetically to copy that be aware 'definitive'.
'I do not have in mind any monograph by way of a Western pupil on a Russian writer having such good fortune. . . Nikita Mikhalkov stated that prior to this publication got here out we did not understand Chekhov. . . the writer does not invent, upload or decorate something . . . Rayfield is prompted by means of the Westerner's urge no longer ot carry info again, in spite of the fact that grim it might probably be.' Anatoli Smelianski, Director of Moscow Arts Theatre School
'It is tough to visualize one other booklet approximately Chekhov after this one via Donald Rayfield.' Arthur Miller, Sunday Times
'Donald Rayfield's exemplary biography attracts on a frightening array of fabric inacessible or overlooked by way of his predecessors.' Nikolai Tolstoy, The Literary Review
'Donald Rayfield, Chekhov's top and definitive biographer.' William Boyd, Guardian
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