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Anton Chekhov's Short Stories (Norton Critical Editions) 1st Edition

4.8 out of 5 stars 26 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0393090024
ISBN-10: 0393090027
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Anton Chekhov was born on January 29, 1860 in Taganrog, Russia. He graduated from the University of Moscow in 1884. Chekhov died of tuberculosis in Germany on July 14, 1904, shortly after his marriage to actress Olga Knipper, and was buried in Moscow.

Ralph E. Matlaw was Professor of Russian Literature at the University of Chicago. He was the author of "The Brothers Karamazov": Novelistic Technique and translated and edited Dostoevsky’s Notes from Underground and The Grand Inquisitor, Odoevsky’s Russian Nights, and Grigoryev’s Moral and Literary Wanderings. He also edited Tolstoy: A Collection of Critical Essays; Belinsky, Chernyshevsky, and Dobrolyubov: Selected Criticism; and the Norton Critical Editions of Turgenev’s Fathers and Sons and Anton Chekhov’s Short Stories.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; 1st edition (April 17, 1979)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393090027
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393090024
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.8 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #362,700 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Stan Vernooy on August 10, 2000
Format: Paperback
In over 35 years of reading adult literature, these are my all-time favorite works. Chekhov has an uncanny and incomparable ability: virtually nothing happens in many of his stories, yet as you close the book you are aware that something deep and wonderful about human character has been revealed. Chekhov has often been described as being unsurpassed in describing the RUSSIAN character, but I find his descriptions of people, their insecurities and their relationships, to be universal.
If you read books for the action, the color, or the conflict, you will find little of it here. All you will find is quiet and penetrating insight into what it means to be a human being living with other human beings.
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Format: Paperback
This collection will expose you to not only some of the best short stories by Anton Chekhov, but some of the best stories ever written in any language. Chekhov's sense of mood and characters overrides his need to provide a predictable plot. He is the forerunner for America's beloved Hemingway, Raymond Carver, and may others in between. People may criticize some of Chekhov's Romantic devices and tendencies, but no one can deny the exactitude of his writing. His work is simple and does not rely heavily on existential characters and events, creating a timeless air.
For writers (and interested readers), there is an appendage of letters that Chekhov wrote to friends about writing. His advice is so right and simple that you'll wonder why your favorite author, or even you, didn't think of them first. Chekhov turns out to be a rather arrogant guy, claiming he never spent more than a day on a story and that his only job was "to be talented," but that is part of his charm. He is the link to modern fiction that is often forgotten. Buy or check out this book. It is a must.
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Format: Paperback
Norton had done it again! This colllection of Chekov short stories is not only broad and complete but gives excellent supplemental criticial, historical, and biographical background to the artistic life of Chekov, by some of the most renown scholars of Russian literature. The text also pays close attention to translation, giving the reader understanding and explanation of possible translation ambiguities with footnotes.
An excellent introduction to the short fiction of Chekov. Highly recommended!
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This is by far the best single volume of Chekhov's stories in English translation, as far as I know (and I've read dozens--though I haven't seen the brand new Modern Library editions which are supposed to be 600 pages each). What a great selection, sampling the full range of Chekhov's story writing from his early sketches to the crystalline works of his last few years. Who can forget these wonderful stories, like The Student, The Bishop, Rothschild's Fiddle. I can think of several fine pieces from the earlier years, and a few longer stories, that somehow missed the cut, but so what. The translations themselves are quite good, too. Hingley's editions of Chekhov stories are also excellent, but this Norton compilation is tops for lugging around with you for many years.
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I have always loved reading the work of a writer along with critical essays that provide richer insights into the work. Such an anthology brings both great stories and serious analysis of the work together. This edition also contains some of Chekhov's memorable correspondance.

After reading many Chekhov stories I think it is possible to venture a few generalizations about the essence of his art. First of all he is a great creator of human character, of idiosyncratic individuals. He too is a master of depicting the clash between the inner dream and longing of the individual and the cruel reality that he faces. The child Vanka who desperately writes letters to his grandfather in the hope of escaping a life of virtual slavery is a prominent example in this work. Chekhov is a writer with a great heart and great feeling for the inner emotions of his characters. And he creates in the reader a sympathy for those characters. Consider the story ' The Darling ' in which a woman's loving and caring and positive nature, a nature which totally supports and takes upon herself the husband or in the end the imagined step- child she cares for , persists through the various individuals who are part of her life. Chekhov is the writer who makes us feel the twilight poignance of life , the great heartbreak of human souls in longing and disappointment. So many of his characters are dreamers, longing for a reality which the crude tough world before them either ignores or violently contradicts. I think that in an age in which people talk about ' post- character literature' it is important to see how much of a great writer's greatness is in the creation of characters, vibrant human beings that the reader can identify with. Chekhov is also the great portrayer of human folly, and does this with irony and humor.
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Format: Paperback
I've said it before, and I'll say it again: Constance Garnett ruins Chekhov for me.
Her work is reprinted for financial reasons, not artistic ones. Want to read "good" Chekhov? Read Robert Payne or Ann Dunnigan's translations. Yarmolinsky is good too.
Rosa La Luna
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