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Other titles in the Modern Library series:
Early Short Stories, 1883-1888 (Modern Library)
Synopses & Reviews
" Chekhov is a supreme artist," said Harold Brodkey. "He has conferred more meaning on us than any other artist of the century. He is the founding master and tutelary spirit of democratic realism."
This collection, selected by Shelby Foote, presents seventy of Chekhov's early short stories, written between 1883 and 1888, in celebrated translations by Constance Garnett. One of the most memorable is "The Death of a Government Clerk," a glorious parody in which a fawning official is undone by an ill-timed sneeze. "On the Road," the history of an educated man's search for convictions, is one of Chekhov's finest dramatic stories and the source of his first full-length play, Ivanov. And in "The Steppe," which marked a turning point in Chekhov's career, a boy's picaresque journey across the Russian heartland evokes the soul of Russia itself. Also included are "The Huntsman," "Anyuta," "Easter Eve," "Happiness," and "The Kiss."
"Chekhov is a superb anatomist of the human heart and an utter master of his literary means," said John Barth. "The details of scene and behavior, the emotions registered--seldom bravura, typically muted and complex, often as surprising to the characters themselves as to the reader, but always right--move, astonish, and delight us line after line, story after story." Eudora Welty agreed: "Chekhov, speaking simply and never otherwise than as an artist and a humane man, showed us in fullness and plenitude the mystery of our lives. . . . What truth [he] found through his stories is ours forever."
Shelby Foote has provided an Introduction for this edition.
The novelist, historian, and Russian literature expert Shelby Foote, author of The Civil War: A Narrative, has selected two books' worth of Chekhov stories, translated by Constance Garnett, to join the existing volume Longer Stories from the Last Decade in the Modern Library series. Chekhov's short fiction is one of the great treasures of literature. "Chekhov is not only a great writer but, even rarer, a liberating one", wrote Susan Sontag. "His perfect moral pitch, his freedom from all forms of demagoguery, provide essential solace, pleasure, inspiration".
The first volume of seventy earlier stories includes "The Steppe", "The Cossack", "The Cook's Wedding", and "Joy". The second volume includes forty-two stories written up to the last year of Chekhov's life, much of which he spent suffering from tuberculosis. They include "The Horse-Stealers", "A Doctor's Visit", "The Lady With the Dog", and "The Bishop".
Each volume includes an Introduction by Shelby Foote.
Table of Contents
Joy — The death of a government clerk — A daughter of Albion — Fat and thin — The bird market — Choristers — Minds in ferment — A chameleon — In the graveyard — Oysters — The marshal's widow — The fish — The huntsman — A malefactor — the head of the family — A dead body — The cook's wedding — Overdoing it — Old age — Sorrow — Mari d'Elle — The looking-glass — Art — A blunder — Children — Misery — An upheaval — The requiem — Anyuta — The witch — A joke — Agafya — A story without an end — Grisha — Love — A gentleman friend — The privy councillor — A day in the country — The chorus girl — A misfortune — A trifle from life — Difficult people — In the court — An incident — A work of art — Vanka — On the road — Easter eve — The beggar — An inadvertence — Verotchka — Shrove Tuesday — A bad business — Home — Typhus — The Cossack — Volodya — Happiness — Zinotchka — The doctor — The runaway — The cattle-dealers — In trouble — The kiss — Boys — Kashtanka — A lady's story — A story without a title — The steppe — Lights.
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