The Complete Short Novels by Anton Chekhov
(Everyman's Library)

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Aanton Chekhov, widely hailed as the supreme master of the short story, also wrote five works long enough to be called short novels–here brought together in one volume for the first time, in a masterly new translation by the award-winning translators Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky.


The Steppe–the most lyrical of the five–is an account of a nine-year-old boy’s frightening journey by wagon train across the steppe of southern Russia. The Duel sets two decadent figures–a fanatical rationalist and a man of literary sensibility–on a collision course that ends in a series of surprising reversals. In The Story of an Unknown Man, a political radical spying on an important official by serving as valet to his son gradually discovers that his own terminal illness has changed his long-held priorities in startling ways. Three Years recounts a complex series of ironies in the personal life of a rich but passive Moscow merchant. In My Life, a man renounces wealth and social position for a life of manual labor.


The resulting conflict between the moral simplicity of his ideals and the complex realities of human nature culminates in a brief apocalyptic vision that is unique in Chekhov’s work.


About Anton Chekhov

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Anton Pavlovich Chekhov was born in Taganrog, Ukraine in 1860. First published in the eighteen-eighties, he was a celebrated figure in Russia by the time of his death in 1904, but he remained relatively unknown internationally until the years after World War I, when his works were translated into English. His essays, plays, poetry, and short fiction have been translated into countless languages and he is remembered today as a master of the modern short story. Arthur Rimbaud, born in 1854 in Charleville, France, is hailed as the father of Symbolism. His most famous works of poetry include The Drunken Boat and A Season in Hell. He died in 1891.Paul Schmidt was, in addition to a translator, a playwright, actor, and author of two books of poetry.
Published December 18, 2007 by Vintage. 578 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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Even the least substantial “stories” here uniformly display Chekhov’s matchless gift for swiftly establishing setting, character, and often even conflict and theme in a few brief sentences.

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Kirkus Reviews

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Both 1891’s “The Duel” (a jaded egotist and a narrowly focused scientist lock horns and discover through their confrontation the follies of their preconceptions) and “The Story of an Unknown Man” (1892), a curious analysis of the changing psyche of a spy and potential assassin, are less fully ach...

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