Our Twitter experiment this week came from Sonia Chung’s wonderful essay, “I Heart Chekhov“, from The Millions. We wanted to design some postcards. We used what Nabokov considered to be Chekhov’s chosen color register, “a tint between the color of an old fence and that of a low cloud.” Here are testimonials — all loving, we left Hemingway out — dug up from around the literary archive.[soliloquy id=”22549″]
May 29, 2014
Our “Reading Chekhov” series culminates in a full hour on the Russian physician who spun the small happenings of old Russia into some of the most popular plays in the world and into stories that stay with us and feel new. Andre Dubus III, Maxim D. Shrayer and Rosamund Bartlett are taking us through the dreams, the heartbreak, and the truth of the writers’ writer.
Chekhov’s phrases, scenes and lines keep expanding when they’re spoken aloud. He has the further peculiar effect of inviting digressions as we go – conversations and asides about all manner of things, philosophical and emotional, and not at all specially Russian. For our podcast project “Reading Chekhov,” we’ve assembled actors and storytellers to bring these Russian classics to life.
- Andre Dubus III, novelist and professor at UMass Lowell, author of House of Sand and Fog
- Maxim D. Shrayer, professor at Boston College, long-time student of Chekhov, Nabokov and Bunin, author, most recently of Leaving Russia: A Jewish Story, and editor of Dinner with Stalin and Other Stories by David Shrayer-Petrov
- Rosamund Bartlett, translator and biographer of Chekhov, author of Chekhov: Scenes from a Life
- Melia Bensussen, chair of the performing arts faculty at Emerson College, director of The Cherry Orchard at Actors Shakespeare Project
- Ben Greenman’s provocative, funny ‘translation’ of Chekhov’s stories into the language and world of contemporary celebrity, called Celebrity Chekhov;
- An interview with Rosamund Bartlett in Passport magazine on her biography of the man himself — she calls Chekhov “one of the few people you end up admiring more rather than less having probed the details of his life”;
- Maxim Shrayer discusses Nabokov and Chekhov with Five Books:
Nabokov’s stories go back to Chekhov and Bunin and the great Russian love story, in which desire and memories interact, mostly in unhappy ways for the characters, but happily for the reader.
- Maxim Gorky’s last word from Anton Chekhov: Fragments of Recollections:
I think that in Anton Chekhov’s presence every one involuntarily felt in himself a desire to be simpler, more truthful, more one’s self…