The University of Wisconsin Press

Russian Literature / Literary Criticism

Understanding Chekhov
A Critical Study of Chekhov's Prose and Drama
Donald Rayfield

"An outstanding book. . . . The best introduction to Chekhov, man and work, today."—Robert L. Jackson, Yale University

Of all Russian writers, Chekhov is one of the best liked and most easily appreciated. Yet he is also one of the most elusive. Here Donald Rayfield reveals the layers of meaning on which the great dramatist's stories and plays are built. He examines his brief twenty-year creative life, from medical student supplementing his income by writing comic stories to his rapid rise as the father of twentieth-century drama and narrative prose. Understanding Chekhov is enriched by revelations from previously unexplored archival material, which deepen our understanding of Chekhov's sources, preoccupations, philosophy, and his relations with theater, with fellow writers, and with contemporary ideas.

Donald Rayfield, one of the foremost Chekhov scholar in the world, is author of the monumental 1997 biography Anton Chekhov: A Life. He is professor of Russian and Georgian, Queen Mary and Westfield College, London.

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March 1999
314 pp.   6 x 9
ISBN-10: 0-299-16314-8
ISBN-13: 978-0-299-16314-3   
Paper $22.95 t

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