WorldCat Identities

Rayfield, Donald 1942-

Works: 68 works in 324 publications in 3 languages and 8,205 library holdings
Genres: Fiction  Criticism, interpretation, etc  Biography  History  Biographies  Picaresque fiction  Satire  Satirical literature  Novels  Humorous fiction 
Roles: Author, Translator, Honoree, Editor, Other
Classifications: PG3333, 891.723
Publication Timeline
Most widely held works by Donald Rayfield
Anton Chekhov : a life by Donald Rayfield( Book )

36 editions published between 1997 and 2013 in 3 languages and held by 1,578 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

"Anton Chekhov's life was short, intense, and dominated by battles - both with his dependents and with the tuberculosis that was to kill him at age forty-four. He was one of the greatest playwrights and short-story writers ever born, but he was torn between medicine and literature, as he was between family and friends, between a longing for solitude and a need for company. When he was a child, his family life was at times made a hell by a monstrous father, a possessive sister, and delinquent elder brothers; his own adult life was tortuously balanced between the affections of a series of mistresses and a marriage to an actress that was not as idyllic as it has traditionally been painted." "Donald Rayfield's biography strips the whitewash from the image of Chekhov and shows us what lay behind his restrained, ironic facade. The result does not denigrate him but shows him in the full heroism of his brief, prodigiously creative life. Rayfield has spent more than three years combing the Chekhov archives all over Russia (Chekhov was a restless traveler for the whole of his life, going from Siberia to the Cote d'Azur) and has uncovered thousands of documents and letters from Chekhov's lovers, friends, and family, most of them never published before, which cumulatively tell of a life far more entangled and turbulent than we ever previously suspected. The many cuts made in Soviet and foreign editions of Chekhov's and his wife's letters have been restored; what once was hidden is now revealed."--Jacket
Stalin and his hangmen : the tyrant and those who killed for him by Donald Rayfield( Book )

29 editions published between 2004 and 2007 in English and held by 1,035 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

A history of the Soviet Union under Stalin offers a portrait of the Soviet leader as well as the five ruthless politicos who presided over his secret police and became responsible for the deaths of twenty million Soviet citizens
The cherry orchard : catastrophe and comedy by Donald Rayfield( Book )

7 editions published in 1994 in English and Undetermined and held by 929 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

For decades after its first performance in 1904, Anton Chekhov's The Cherry Orchard fomented controversy among producers, actors, critics, and audiences. Along with its intrinsic textual richness, linguistic power, and subtlety, the play is saturated with many different, apparently incompatible, elements; it constantly shifts from comedy to pathos, its language concomitantly oscillating from music hall vulgarity to prose poetry. Chekhov assigned a personal way of speaking to each character, divorcing consequence from action, cause from effect. Despite the controversy generated by its paradoxical nature, however, The Cherry Orchard has become a milestone in twentieth-century drama. In this astute analysis of Chekhov's last play, Donald Rayfield argues that The Cherry Orchard can be best understood when read as a culmination of the dramatist's major plays, particularly The Seagull (1896) and Three Sisters (1901). Stressing that Chekhov the playwright is inseparable from Chekhov the story writer, Rayfield points up instances in which the author "reuses" material from such classic stories as "A Visit to Friends," "Panpipes," "The Black Monk," and "The Bride." An engaging history of the how the play came to be - complete with citations from Chekhov's notebooks to show the parallels between his life and the lives of his characters - amplifies Rayfield's dissemination of the dramatist's themes and stylistics technique. Rayfield further uses Chekhov's letters to and from those involved in the initial production - the Moscow Arts Theater director Konstantin Stanislavsky; Chekhov's wife, the actress Olga Knipper; and various of Chekhov's contemporaries in the theater - to chronicle the play's evolution. The apparent contradiction of a play that is simultaneously comic and tragic is, Rayfield concludes, a fact of the modernist drama of Samuel Beckett, Eugene Ionesco, and Antonin Artaud. Rayfield's concise analysis is an essential companion to any reading of The Cherry Orchard, as it delineates the play's seminal role in the evolution of twentieth-century theater and its crucial position in Russian cultural history as both the culmination of all realist nineteenth-century fiction and the first masterpiece of a new, arguably symbolist or absurdist, literature
Chekhov : the evolution of his art by Donald Rayfield( Book )

13 editions published in 1975 in English and Undetermined and held by 791 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Understanding Chekhov : a critical study of Chekhov's prose and drama by Donald Rayfield( Book )

20 editions published between 1998 and 1999 in English and held by 758 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

"Of all Russian writers, Chekhov is one of the best liked and most easily appreciated. Yet because his work is subtle and understated, we need help to understand him. Chekhov can be (as his friends complained) the most elusive of writers, and one who appears capable of having two opposite views and opposite intentions simultaneously." "Donald Rayfield, one of the world's foremost Chekhov scholars, reveals the layers of meaning on which the stories and plays are built. All Chekhov's important works are studied: we see how closely the two genres are connected and gain insight into Chekhov's rapid development over his brief twenty years of creative life, from medical student supplementing his income by writing comic stories, to father of twentieth-century drama and narrative prose."--Jacket
Edge of empires : a history of Georgia by Donald Rayfield( )

17 editions published between 2012 and 2017 in English and Russian and held by 754 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

This is a comprehensive history of Georgia focusing not only on the post-Soviet era but on the full sweep of its turbulent past. The book describes Georgia's complex struggles with the many empires which have tried to control, fragment or even exterminate the country
The literature of Georgia : a history by Donald Rayfield( Book )

27 editions published between 1994 and 2014 in English and held by 462 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

World-class poetry of Vazha Pshavela, Galaktion Tabidze, and Paolo Iashvili is discussed here, as are the Soviet period novelists Konstantine Gamsakhurdia, Grigol Robakidze, and Mikheil Javakhishvili, writer of the much acclaimed Kvachi Kvachantiradze. The History ends with a study of living writers, the novelists Otar Chiladze and Chabua Amirejibi, and poets such as Ana Kalandadze and Lia Sturua. A major contribution to an area of growing interest, this concise but
The dream of Lhasa : the life of Nikolay Przhevalsky (1839-88) explorer of Central Asia by Donald Rayfield( Book )

15 editions published between 1976 and 2013 in English and held by 448 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Dead souls : an epic poem by Nikolaĭ Vasilʹevich Gogolʹ( Book )

5 editions published between 2008 and 2012 in English and held by 172 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Chichikov, a mysterious stranger, arrives in a provincial town and visits a succession of landowners to make each a strange offer. He proposes to buy the names of dead serfs still registered on the census, saving their owners from paying tax on them, and to use the 'souls' as collateral to re-invent himself as a gentleman. In this masterpiece, Gogol created a grotesque gallery of human types, from the bear-like Sobakevich to the insubstantial fool Manilov, and, above all, the devilish con man Chichikov. Dead Souls, Russia's first major novel, is one of the most unusual works of nineteenth-century fiction and a devastating satire on social hypocrisy
Chekhov's Uncle Vania and the wood demon by Donald Rayfield( Book )

8 editions published in 1995 in English and held by 139 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Dnevnik Aleksei︠a︡ Sergeevicha Suvorina by A. S Suvorin( Book )

12 editions published between 1999 and 2000 in Russian and held by 118 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Anton Chekhov : a life by Donald Rayfield( )

12 editions published between 1998 and 2008 in English and held by 112 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Anton Chekhov's life was short, intense, and dominated by battles, both with his dependents and with the tuberculosis that killed him at age forty-four. The traditional image of Chekhov is that of the restrained artist torn between medicine and literature. But Donald Rayfield's biography reveals the life long hidden behind the noble facade. Here is a man capable of both great generosity toward needy peasants and harsh callousness toward lovers and family, a man who craved with equal passion the company of others and the solitude necessary to create his art
Chapter 42 by Nadezhda Mandelʹshtam( Book )

3 editions published in 1973 in English and held by 107 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Kvachi : a novel by Mixeil Javaxišvili( Book )

2 editions published between 2014 and 2015 in English and held by 90 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

"This is, in brief, the story of a swindler: a Georgian Felix Krull, or perhaps a cynical Don Quixote, named Kvachi Kvachantiradze. He is a womanizer, cheat, perpetrator of insurance fraud, bank robber, associate of Rasputin, filmmaker, revolutionary, and pimp. Though originally denounced as pornographic, Kvachi's tale is one of the great classics of twentieth-century Georgian literature--and a hilarious romp to boot"--
The confessions of Victor X by Victor X( Book )

4 editions published between 1984 and 1985 in English and held by 83 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

The Garnett book of Russian verse : a treasury of Russian poets from 1730 to 1996( Book )

8 editions published between 2000 and 2013 in Russian and English and held by 81 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

A comprehensive Georgian-English dictionary( Book )

4 editions published in 2006 in English and held by 73 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Dead souls by Nikolaĭ Vasilʹevich Gogolʹ( )

4 editions published between 2008 and 2017 in English and held by 57 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Presented here in a brand-new translation, Dead Souls is one of the funniest and most brilliant novels of nineteenth-century Russia
Stalin und seine Henker by Donald Rayfield( Book )

2 editions published in 2004 in German and held by 45 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

When the elephant broke out of the zoo : a festschrift for Donald Rayfield( Book )

2 editions published in 2012 in English and held by 42 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

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Audience level: 0.39 (from 0.26 for Dead souls ... to 0.93 for Stalin und ...)

Anton Chekhov : a life
Alternative Names
Donald Rayfield British translator

Donald Rayfield Brits historicus

Donald Rayfield storico e critico letterario britannico

Donald Rayfield traducteur britannique

Donald Rayfield traductor británico

Rayfield, D.

Rayfield, D. 1942-

Rayfield, D. (Donald), 1942-

Reĭfild, D. 1942-

Reĭfild, D. (Donalʹd), 1942-

Reĭfild, Donalʹd 1942-

Reifīlds, Donalds 1942-

Reip'ildi, Donald 1942-

Rejfild, D.

Rejfild, D. 1942-

Rejfild, Donalʹd

Rejfild, Donalʹd 1942-

Рейфилд, Д 1942-

Рейфилд, Д. (Дональд), 1942-

Рейфилд, Дональд

Рейфилд, Дональд 1942-

Рейфільд Дональд

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English (199)

Russian (25)

German (2)

Stalin and his hangmen : the tyrant and those who killed for himThe cherry orchard : catastrophe and comedyUnderstanding Chekhov : a critical study of Chekhov's prose and dramaThe literature of Georgia : a historyDead souls : an epic poemChekhov's Uncle Vania and the wood demonAnton Chekhov : a lifeDead souls