Alexander and Anton Chekhov  <<


The memoirs of Anton Chekhov's elder brother Alexander are practically unknown. However, Alexander's contribution to our conception of Anton Chekhov is enormous. Alexander Chekhov's memoirs were never published as a separate volume. Now, for the first time, the publishing house «Zakharov» has published a collection of practically everything which Alexander wrote about Anton Chekhov, amounting to some 1000 pages. The material has been organized chronologically in connection with the life of Chekhov as a unified biographical narrative.

The core of the book is the correspondence between the brothers Anton and Alexander (200 and 300 letters respectively). Alexander's letters were published for the last time more than 80 years ago with a large number of omissions. They have not been published again since. Anton's letters have been re-published based on the latest complete academic edition of Chekhov's works. In this publication, the letters have been printed without the alterations contained in the academic editions, e.g. restoring non-normative words. Some of the letters and notes have never before been published (even in the complete works), having been discovered in the manuscript department of the Russian State Library in Moscow.

The brothers' dialogue is a unique documentary narrative in which one sees Anton Chekhov's development as a person and artist particularly clearly– particularly in connection with the fate of his brother, a talented but deeply troubled man.

Aside from the documentary texts, the book also contains a preface entitled «The Brother of the Above Mentioned», commentaries and annotations, provided by the Petersburg literary scholars I.S. Kuz'michev and E.M. Gushanskaia. This accompanying material achieves remarkable depth and has been carefully crafted, but is at the same time eminently accessible to a broad audience and far from all academic pedantry.

The book has been published in 2012.