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Ward Six and other stories

by Anton Chekhov

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8651018,073 (4.07)12
Writing towards the close of the nineteenth century, Chekhov - himself a country doctor - recorded in his fiction the symptoms of a diseased society. The seven stories collected here are a bleakly savage indictment of a society paralysed by spiritual malaise, and morbidly conscious of evilswhich can neither be killed nor cured.This volume also contains an Introduction by Ronald Hingley.… (more)

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» See also 12 mentions

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Excerpts from my original GR review (Apr 2012):
- I listened to an audio of Chekhov's "The Black Monk", containing the title story plus two others, liked them, and knew I'd come back to him.. I enjoyed this overall, and can see how modern critics hold him in high regard.
- 23 stories are presented here.. I re-read a few, and especially liked "Easter Eve" (1886), a brief story of a man who narrates his nighttime passage by ferry across a broad river, as a time of rejoicing approaches at the far bank. But the ferryman, job-bound with no relief, is in deep mourning for the loss of a close friend, and his sad plight stays with our narrator as he joins the holy communion. Another I enjoyed was "Neighbors" (1892), in which a young man is heartsick and depressed at the elopement of his beloved sister to a married man, a neighbor for whom the libeled brother is determined to rebuke. But as he makes his way toward confrontation in a doleful rain, his creeping inadequacy to the task makes for a strange visit.
- This collection begins with a very good Introduction by David Plante, enough biographic detail to set the stage. Final word: seems like a very good representational place to start with the author. I anticipate continuing some rain-lashed jaunts with him in future. ( )
  ThoughtPolice | Apr 3, 2018 |
Wonderful, of course. Read a number of these, but not all of them. Will revisit eventually. ( )
  BooksForDinner | Jan 18, 2016 |
Chekhov's cool, precise, ostentatiously unsentimental realism combined with heavy-handed irony, revolutionary and protomodernist in its day, now seems to me old hat, thanks in part to its having spawned a century of mediocre short fiction by hordes of imitators. I can usually, with a little effort, just manage to drag myself to the end of one of his stories. ( )
  middlemarchhare | Nov 25, 2015 |
A sublime novella. Wrought like a brilliant miniature, it is a radiant reflection on human nature and the human condition. Chekhov gives us a beautiful definition of compassion, and what it means when it is absent. It is impossible to read it without crying. ( )
1 vote Tjeerd-van-der-Heide | Aug 5, 2013 |
This is collection of short stories about doctors, academics, intellectuals, and the other characters with which they interact. The stories all have some kind of melancholy about them, either due to the ennui, infatuations, or quotidian boredom that the characters experience. While much of literature avoids describing this as its main purpose due to the fact that it is difficult to write well about, Chekhov turns the tragedy of the mundane into the aesthetic - perhaps inspiring the philosophy that Camus instructs in his Myth of Sisyphus, as a way of dealing with life. But these stories are also tempered by a palpable joy in places, and are worth reading alone for the heavy and convincing atmosphere of historical Russia.
These stories are likely to appeal far more to those who can identify with the characters, and probably to a greater degree than is usual. ( )
2 vote P_S_Patrick | Oct 9, 2011 |
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Grisha, a fat, solemn little person of seven, was standing by the kitchen door listening and peeping through the keyhole.
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Writing towards the close of the nineteenth century, Chekhov - himself a country doctor - recorded in his fiction the symptoms of a diseased society. The seven stories collected here are a bleakly savage indictment of a society paralysed by spiritual malaise, and morbidly conscious of evilswhich can neither be killed nor cured.This volume also contains an Introduction by Ronald Hingley.

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Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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