by Edward Sanders, Ed Sanders

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
A third of this biography-in-verse skirts the gifted doctor cum playwright to serve instead as a primer on political strife in 19th-century Russia and a condensed retelling of facts done up in funny line breaks (``and the ghastly geekiness/ of the state bureaucracy''). Chekhov's early years get surprisingly short shrift: 44 words are given to the childhood event that led him into medicine. Only when we get to the adult artist is our attention finally aroused, as Sanders, while relating Chekhov's rationalizing away of tuberculosis, a research visit to Siberia and the albatross of censorship, finally breathes bloody life into his subject. Too rarely, however, does the poet enter Chekhov's mind; rather he works from the outside in, via scholarly details and letter excerpts. Sanders's career has been firmly rooted in the Beat movementit's easy to understand his love of a great writer in a time of revolution. Less comprehensible is the lack of creativity that accompanies much of this work; and often silly is the occasional toke of Beat lingo, as when the toil of creating Uncle Vanya is described as ``batter/ for the Divine Waffle.'' (July)
A poem on the life and times of Anton Chekhov--wildly erratic, but who, besides Ed Sanders, would have the nerve to take on a project of this ambition. And mostly it works. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (

Product Details

Godine, David R. Publishers, Inc.
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
5.87(w) x 8.92(h) x 0.73(d)

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