Review essay by John Griswold in Inside Higher Ed (January 3, 2016)
Slavic & East European Journal (Summer 2016)
The Russian Review (October 2016)
Slavonic & East European Review (October 2016)
H-Net Reviews by Ingrid Nordgaard, Yale University (May 2017)
Antosha and Levitasha is a biography of the life-long friendship between Anton Chekhov and Isaac Levitan, perhaps the most significant relationship between a writer and painter in late 19th century Russian culture. It is also the first book-length account of Levitan’s life and art in English to be based on Russian published and archival primary sources.
Antosha and Levitasha is structured chronologically, following the narrative arc of a complex friendship that alternated between periods of affection and animosity, but always reflected an unwavering appreciation of each other’s artistic talents. Within its chronological structure, the book follows three over-arching themes: 1) Chekhov’s and Levitan’s shared view of nature and similar approach to depicting landscape; 2) their romantic and social rivalry within their circle of friends, many of whom were among Moscow’s leading cultural figures; and 3) the influence of Levitan’s personal life on Chekhov’s stories and plays.
The book was published by Northern Illinois University Press in November 2015.
Page ix (Author’s Note). The following sentence should read: “At the time, both Russia and the United States were on the gold standard, so it’s possible to peg the ruble at roughly fifty cents in 1900.”