Called the greatest of short story writer, Anton Chekhov changed the genre itself with his spare, impressionistic depictions of Russian life and the human condition. Now, thirty of his best tales from the major periods of his creative life are available in this outstanding one volume edition. Included are Chekhov's characteristically brief, evocative early pieces such as "The Huntsman" from 1885, which brilliantly conveys the complex texture of two lives during a meeting on a summer's day. Four years later, Chekhov produced the tour de force "A Boring Story" (1889), the penetrating and caustic self-analysis of a dying professor of medicine. Dark irony, social commentary, and symbolism mark the stories that follow, particularly "Ward No. 6" (1892), where the tables turn on the director of a mental hospital and make him an inmate. Here, too, is one of Chekhov's best -known stories. "The Lady with the Little Dog" (1899), a look at illicit love, as well as his own favorite among his stories, "The Student," a moving piece about the importance of religious tradition.
Atmospheric, compassionate, and uncannily wise, Chekhov's short fiction possesses the transcendent power of art to awe and change the reader. This monumental edition, expertly translated, is especially faithful to the meaning of Chekhov's prose and the unique rhythms of his writing, giving readers an authentic sense of his style-and, in doing so, a true understanding of his greatness.
The acclaimed translating team who've provided lively new English versions of Dostoevsky's and Gogol's masterpieces now turn their attention to the best of all possible short-story writers. Pevear's characteristically incisive introduction emphasizes Chekhov's mastery of impressionism and realism (developed from his expressed commitment to"objectivity... truthful descriptions ... [and] compassion"), en route to lucid, plainspoken translations of consensus masterpieces ("Vanka,""The Darling,""The Lady with the Little Dog") and such lesser-known gems like"The Fidget,""The Student," andone of its author's most concentrated and limpid depictions of opposed"worlds" collidingthe marvelous"On Official Business." Probably the best one-volume Chekhov currently in print, and indispensable.