- Hardcover: 656 pages
- Publisher: Modern Library; 4th Printing edition (January 26, 1999)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0679603166
- ISBN-13: 978-0679603160
- Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 1.3 x 8.3 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 6 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #295,595 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Anton Chekhov Later Short Stories, 1888-1903 (Modern Library) Hardcover – January 26, 1999
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From Library Journal
This fab duo sport 110 of Chekhov's shorts (70 Early and 40 Later). Along with the text, this additionally includes a brief biography and an introduction by editor Foote. Good stuff.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
" Through his work, tough-minded and compas-
sionate, he bequeathed us an idiom with which to address the century he hardly lived to see."
" On reading Chekhov, we first grow ecstatic, and then we grieve. For he is one of those writers whose spiritual and literary intelli-
gence (they are one thing with him) is so powerful that for a moment we are seduced by our pleasure into believing in human progress, in the moral evolution of the species; then, a moment later, we see that he is in fact only a giant, an anomaly, possibly an angel, and that we may not have another like him for a thousand years."
Other Chekhov collections from the
Early Short Stories: 1883-1888
Longer Stories from the Last Decade
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In Chekhov's stories, marriage is hardly a bed of roses, usually resulting in discontentment, depression, and adultery; nowhere is this more perfectly executed than in "The Lady with the Dog," which ends with the two transgressors not contrite over their sins, but resolving to carry on their affair in the face of uncertainty. In "The Party," a young married couple's disharmony culminates in a tragedy that underscores their need to love each other. Chekhov's characters tend to marry for the wrong reasons, like societal pressure, false hopes of marital bliss ("The Helpmate," "Betrothed"), and convenience and mutual benefit ("Anna on the Neck"). His characters usually are people who mean well but do the wrong things: In "At a Country House," a cultural elitist has a habit of scaring off the very men he wants his daughters to marry.
Chekhov also touches on themes of pure, often unrequited, love. "The Beauties" is a plaintive tale of infatuation, of a boy's enthralling first discovery of intangible feminine beauty. His lonely characters, such as in "The Schoolmistress," "A Doctor's Visit," and "The Darling," are often prisoners of their own inhibitions, obsessions, and self-obligations.
Other topics are covered, often exhibiting a world-weary cynicism. In the amusing fable "The Shoemaker and the Devil," the protagonist's conclusion is not the cliched lesson to be thankful for the few things he has in life, but rather that there is nothing in life worth selling his soul to the devil for. "Rothschild's Fiddle" is like a Marc Chagall painting set to prose, portraying the futility and bitterness of life offset by the beauty of art, while "Whitebrow" is a fuzzy parable. Chekhov also displays a talent for drawing comical characters, such as the talkative blowhard in "The Petchenyeg" and the prudish protagonist of "The Man in a Case." A mark of Chekhov's style is that these people often are oblivious to their own idiosyncrasies, a touch that injects as much comedy as tragedy into the stories.
These stories might leave one with the impression that Chekhov was pessimistic about love and marriage, and even life, but in my opinion they emphasize a fundamental truism about fiction -- much as in comedy, where failure is funnier than success, even though "good" love is what makes the world go around, "bad" love is more interesting to write about.
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