James Lasdun on Chekhov in the Guardian Review

Edited version of Folio-commissioned introduction

Saturday 6 February's Guardian Review featured James Lasdun's introduction to The Collected Stories of Anton Chekhov in an edited version. James Lasdun is the acclaimed author of two novels and three collections of short stories, the latest of which, It's Beginning To Hurt, is published in the UK by Jonathan Cape.

In his specially commissioned introduction, Lasdun argues for Chekhov's pre-eminence within the literary canon. As he says, Chekhov's great gift was to present to us a reflection of ourselves, our ordinariness and 'unfathomable strangeness':

There had been sceptics, agnostics, doubters, questioners of every kind before Chekhov, but perhaps no writer in whom the utter mysteriousness of existence was felt so deeply, or counterpoised by such inexhaustible interest in the teeming variety of forms—human and otherwise—in which it manifests itself. To have found a way of expressing both, with such profligate inventiveness and such apparent ease, was, above all else, the mark of Chekhov’s genius; his unsurpassed greatness as a teller of stories.

The edited introduction can be seen online through this link. You can find out more about our edition of The Collected Stories of Chekhov here.

last modified: Mon, Sep 12th 2011Bookmark and Share
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