Mr. Kataev examines Chekhov's major tales, stories, and plays, pointing out patterns of development in Chekhov's approach to characters and themes, and tracing the roots of Chekhov's ideas as expressed through his plots. He quietly undermines many conventional (and persistent) approaches to Chekhov, Western as well as Russion, and establishes a radically new position of his own. "Offers the reader fresh insights...enhances our understanding...The book should open a new and most welcome chapter in Chekhov criticism."-Simon Karlinsky. "Unquestionably one of the two major studies of Chekhov by Russian critics during the twentieth century."-Karl D. Kramer.
Vladimir Kataev is professor of Russian literature at Moscow University and head of the Chekhov Commission of the Russian Academy of Sciences. His many books include Chekhov's Prose, Chekhov's Literary Connections, and The Complexity of Simplicity. Harvey Pitcher, who lives in England, has written The Chekhov Play: A New Interpretation and Chekhov's Leading Lady, and has translated Chekhov's Early Stories and Comic Stories.