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Stories of Anton Chekhov Paperback – October 31, 2000
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Original Language: Russian
Top Customer Reviews
It's not so bad that they've taken their time with Chekhov, for he has had numerous distinguished translators. Indeed, Constance Garnett is much-maligned (perhaps unfairly) for her many translations at the beginning of the 20th century of Tolstoy and Dostoyevsky, but even her detractors tend to agree that she did good work with Chekhov. (Indeed, until now the best all-around collection of Chekhov stories was The Chekhov Omnibus, edited by Donald Rayfield, who used the Garnett translations, though he did revise them.)
But now we have the best. It's not perfect, but if you can have only one collection of Chekhov stories, this is the one to have. The selection covers Chekhov's entire career, and includes such masterpieces as "Ward No. 6", "The Lady with the Little Dog", "Gusev", "The House with the Mezzanine", "In the Ravine", and many others (30 stories total).
It is a delight to read Chekhov in these translations, because the translators have stuck close to many of the idiosyncracies of Chekhov's style which most other translators ignore or smooth over. Chekhov's world -- a land of moping aristocrats and disenchanted peasants, of former serfs seeking dignity and everyday workers searching for the meaning of life, of lovers and painters and doctors and thieves -- is unique and haunting, and all of its dry absurdities and bleak terrains are rendered here with care and skill and sensitivity.Read more ›
So what I will do here is simply write a few of my thoughts on my recent reading of Chekhov in the hope that they may be of interest to a reader or two.
The Chekhov stories are among the best I have ever read. One element in this is I sense a certain love and respect the author has for his characters even when he may be mocking them. Another element is Chekhov's ability to teach us how to see the character from inside. Chekhov writes with sympathy and insight of the inner lives of others. His work is filled with dreams and longings and disappointments and many great loves. He seems to delight in portraying idiosyncratic characters with great affection. His stories are famous for not ` telling stories' but that is not I think the case. Often his stories do contain within them the narrative of what the person has lived.
As I do not know Russian I cannot fully appreciate the stories, or appreciate his special idiom.But they have a feeling of Russian lavishness, drunkenness, of Russian generosity. They also present the Russian world and Russian nature and have a kind of wild poetry in them .Chekhov sees people and things from inside and sympathetically and he gives the reader a sense of his affection for them. With Chekhov there is a sense of the controlling voice of the writer behind the story as a good person.
Chekhov also is very strong on the theme of reality encountering dream, and knocking it on the head.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
For those who haven't figure it out yet, Amazon doesn't care and doesn't pay attention to the books it sells if they're not originally written in English. Read morePublished 22 days ago by Mitch M
Well portrayed characters, but the stories would benefit from better closure for my taste.Published 26 days ago by Beranga
interesting snippets of human interactions and conditions wonderfully writtenPublished 1 month ago by christine rosenow
He makes a deep portrait of Russian society, of its cruelty and the marked social differences. He is a master of languagePublished 3 months ago by Yngwie
Anton Checkov is considered a maverick of the short story and I did enjoy his writing. He is very descriptive and complete in the descriptions. Read morePublished 6 months ago by SLB
Chekhov is a great Russian dramatist and writer of short stories. It is well worth the read.Published 6 months ago by Lyle D. Hettinger