In "Reading Chekhov" Janet Malcolm takes on three roles: literary critic, biographer and journalist. Her close readings of the stories and plays are interwoven with episodes from Chekhov's life and framed by an account of a recent journey she made to St Petersburg. Writing of Chekhov's life, Malcolm demonstrates how the shadow of death that hovered over most of his literary career - he became consumptive in his 20s and died in his 40s - is almost everywhere reflected in the work. She writes of his childhood, his relationship with his family, his marriage, his travels, his early success, his exile to Yalta - always with an eye to connecting them to the themes and characters of the stories and plays.
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A perfect match of author and subject. In an effort to know one of her favorite writers better. Janet Malcolm -- who has brought light to the dark and complicated corners of psychoanalysis and has exposed the treacheries inherent within journalism--traveled to Russia and the places where Chekhov lived and worked. Out of her encounters with modern-day Russians she builds bridges backward in time to Chekhov and to the characters and ideas in his unexampled short stories and plays. The chapters are like pools of thought that coalesce into a profound, unified vision of one of Western literary culture's most important figures. For example, Chekhov's self-effacement prompts a consideration of his characters' odd un-pin-down-ability and then a discussion of limitations in writing biography.
One need not know Chekhov's writing to enjoy and be enlightened by Reading Chekhov (though anyone who does will find it doubly edifying). It is a work in which as we watch one outstanding mind try to understand another, we learn more about ourselves--our own ways of reading, thinking, and behaving: generally, what it means to be human.
“One of the most gratifying things about Reading Chekhov is its quiet, vigorous defense of the prerogatives of criticism against the imperial banality of biography.” —The New York Times Book Review
“[A] thoughtful and sensitive study . . . A great part of the charm and the skill of Janet Malcolm’s book lies in the very Chekhovian way she mingles personal with critical comment, taking us not only through Chekhov’s stories but through the removals and journeys of his life and her own travels in quest of his Russian haunts.” —The New York Review of Books
“With the gentle inevitability of a balloon lofting skyward, the discourse effortlessly ascends from chatter to contemplation to genuinely brilliant critique. . . . With its balance of distilled perception and companionable spirit, Reading Chekhov embodies the same qualities it celebrates.” —San Francisco Chronicle
From the Trade Paperback edition.
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Descripción Granta Books 2003, 2003. Estado de conservación: New. New first edition hardback. Fine and unread. Nº de ref. de la librería A176178
Descripción GRANTA BOOKS, 2003. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: New. book. Nº de ref. de la librería M1862075867