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Anton Chekhov's Short Stories (Norton Critical Editions) 1st (first) edition Text Only Paperback – 1979
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Top Customer Reviews
Chekhov is not at all romantic or sentimental. For the most part he writes about ordinary situations. (Virginia Woolf characterized his work as "little stories about nothing at all.") Almost half the stories collected here feature poor, ordinary people: peasants, servants, and laborers. Chekhov clearly has an aversion to vulgarity, and his stories seem to be charged with a longing for spiritual freedom. Beyond that, I find it difficult to characterize them, and Matlaw writes that "[t]he attempt to draw a message or moral or lesson from Chekhov's stories always turns out unsatisfactory and simplistic."
I read three or four stories per day. That probably was too rapid a pace. If someday I read another volume of Chekhov's stories, I think I will restrict myself to one a day. They are concentrated, and they warrant focused reflection.
In addition to the thirty-four stories, this Norton Critical Edition contains another 100 pages consisting of excerpts from Chekhov letters, a piece on Chekhov by Maxim Gorky, and eight essays. I did not read any of that additional material.
This Norton Critical Edition was published in 1979. In 2014 Norton published another, larger Critical Edition, edited by Cathy Popkin. It contains fifty-two stories, thirty-one of which are not included in this 1979 edition; this 1979 edition contains thirteen stories not included in the 2014 edition; leaving twenty-one stories that appear in both. All of the essays in the 2014 edition appear to be new. A case might be made for owning and reading both the 1979 and 2014 Critical Editions. I myself just might do that.