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Chekhov Becomes Chekhov : The Emergence of a Literary Genius

Chekhov Becomes Chekhov : The Emergence of a Literary Genius

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A revelatory portrait of Chekhov during the most extraordinary artistic surge of his life. In 1886, a twenty-six-year-old Anton Chekhov was publishing short stories, humor pieces, and articles at an astonishing rate, and was still a practicing physician. Yet as he honed his craft and continued to draw inspiration from the vivid characters in his own life, he found himself-to his surprise and occasional embarrassment-admired by a growing legion of fans, including Tolstoy himself. He had not yet succumbed to the ravages of tuberculosis. He was a lively, frank, and funny correspondent and a dedicated mentor. And as Bob Blaisdell discovers, his vivid articles, stories, and plays from this period-when read in conjunction with his correspondence-become a psychological and emotional secret diary. When Chekhov struggled with his increasingly fraught engagement, young couples are continually making their raucous way in and out of relationships on the page. When he was overtaxed by his medical duties, his doctor characters explode or implode. Chekhov's talented but drunken older brothers and Chekhov's domineering father became transmuted into characters, yet their emergence from their family's serfdom is roiling beneath the surface. Chekhov could crystalize the human foibles of the people he knew into some of the most memorable figures in literature and drama. In Chekhov Becomes Chekhov, Blaisdell astutely examines the psychological portraits of Chekhov's distinct, carefully observed characters and how they reflect back on their creator during a period when there seemed to be nothing between his imagination and the paper he was writing upon.

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Author/s: Blaisdell, Bob

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