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Celebrity Chekhov: Stories by Anton Chekhov (P.S.) by Ben Greenman

By Ben Greenman

Q: What do Tiger, Paris, Lindsay, Alec, and Oprah have in universal with the long-lasting characters of Anton Chekhov? A: Love, loss, satisfaction, craving, heartbreak, renewal, transcendence: the very stuff of existence. The immortal tales of Anton Chekhov have lengthy entranced readers with their insights into the common truths of human habit . . . yet you've gotten by no means learn them fairly like this. Former acquaintances Nicole and Paris trade prickly pleasantries in "Tall and Short." Talk-show host Dave narrowly averts one other strength household situation in "A Transgression." truth celebrity Kim stocks her newfound notoriety with Khloe and Kourtney in "Joy." In a witty, swish, and revelatory feat of literary reinvention, acclaimed novelist and slapstick comedian Ben Greenman takes nineteen of Chekhov's maximum tales and recasts them with many of the best-known luminaries of our time—with eye-opening, and oddly ennobling, effects.

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Additional info for Celebrity Chekhov: Stories by Anton Chekhov (P.S.)

Sample text

Rain every day, as though to spite me. I might as well hang myself! It’s ruin! ” He flung up his hands and went on, addressing Nicole Kidman: “There! That’s the life we lead, Nicole Kidman. It’s enough to make one cry. One works and does one’s utmost, one wears oneself out, getting no sleep at night, and racks one’s brain what to do for the best. And then what happens? To begin with, one’s public is ignorant, boorish. I give them the very best operetta, a dainty masque, first rate music-hall artists.

Kim Kardashian? And, having speculated, we can perhaps find analogues for these characters in Chekhov’s stories—and wonder, perchance, what would happen if his original characters were replaced by these new characters, whose travails hit so much closer to home for us. If we should trap these celebrities inside Chekhov’s stories, is it possible that their insides—the inner lives that are elided by the tabloids, paparazzi, and the Internet—might be liberated? That a story of straying husbands and nervous wives like “Bad Weather” might move us more as an accurate, even revealing portrait of a contemporary golfer named Tiger rather than the tale of a lawyer named Kvashin?

I’m not sure how much longer I’ll last, so here I have come to say good-bye. ” We left Artie Lange to converse with Andy Kaufman and went on. It began drizzling a fine cold rain. At the turning into the principal avenue strewn with gravel, we met a funeral procession. The bearers, wearing black suits and muddy high boots with leaves sticking on them, carried the brown coffin. It was getting dark and they hastened, stumbling, and shaking their burden. “We’ve only been walking here for a couple of hours and that is the third new arrival we’ve seen.

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