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Stories of Anton Chekhov by Anton Chekhov
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Stories of Anton Chekhov (1889)

by Anton Chekhov

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English (8)  Italian (1)  All languages (9)
Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
Astonishing. Chekhov clearly understands how people work, and how to express it. I need to sit and think a while to process this further. ( )
  HadriantheBlind | Mar 30, 2013 |
I read this book in Latvian; it seems there must be a little different selection of stories in the English version. My book had 15 short stories. Here are my favorite ones:

“A Boring story”
A story of a dying professor’s self analysis. Chekhov doesn’t waist words in any of his stories, but still the characters in this book are so vivid and realistic. In this story the professor spends his days thinking about his famous name, which doesn’t help him any more now that he is slowly dying. The author shows the relationship between the professor, his family and his step-daughter Katia. The people who used to be his closest are now changed. He didn’t even notice when it happened, it’s like living with strangers. He shares a house with them, but is still lonely. A sad, but beautiful story.

“The Man in a Case”
Belikov is a teacher of Greek. He is hiding himself in heavy, thick clothes and wearing rubber galoshes even on the hottest days of summer. Everyone in the school, including his colleges, is afraid of him. He strictly follows all of the rules and in his opinion – what’s not allowed is strictly prohibited. He is hiding his thoughts behind a wall of never ending rules. He is like a shadow that everyone tries to avoid. The day of his funeral is considered a good day for all of his coworkers and students. They all feel relieved that no one is watching them anymore.

“The Lady with the little dog”
Gurov is a married man who loves to spend his time with other women. As fast as he gets excited and passionate about every new encounter he gets bored just as fast. He has never been in love. Then he meets Ann, the lady with the little dog. The story between them begins as usual for him and looks like it will end like that as well. Ann is also married, but she is shy and an old-fashion woman. She falls in love with Gurov, and so does he, though he doesn’t realize it at the time.
This is the most famous story of Anton Chekhov. A heartbreaking story about impossible love.

I enjoyed the book from the very first pages till the end. The author paints a perfect picture of 19th century Russia. Chekhov is one of my new favorite authors now and I will look forward to read more of his stories and plays. I can recommend this author to all those who enjoyed works of Dostoyevsky or Bulgakov. ( )
  liibooks | Aug 26, 2010 |
A collection of unassuming masterpieces. Chekhov's stories are subtle, precise, versatile, and compassionate. Just beautiful. ( )
  jorgearanda | Jul 21, 2010 |
Short Stories by Anton Chekhov 1. Yes, a book on CD but it's Chekov! hence you know the stories recorded for this project will be good or interesting at least - (he is a master after all). And don't worry: it sounds like Tchekov. The translation by Constance Garnett seems adequate - the style is the Russian's: deceptively simple, sometimes simply terse, always descriptively sparse. The six stories in this volume range from excellent to passable; some display Checkoff's ironic humor, others his critique of class, but all are sociologically probing and psychologically complex. Though these works might be deemed "lesser-known" - (you won't hear The Lady with the Dog, or Gooseberries, for example) - each seems chosen because it lends itself to imagery through sound rather than idea through word play.
They are read by Max Bollinger, a Russian-born English actor whose voice is clear, whose pronunciation is precise. (There are occasional sound effects which neither add nor detract. It is Anton after all, and Anton holds your attention without need of pyrotechnics) It is Bollinger, however, who colors the images. And herein lies the wrong-way-rub (a problem whenever literature is transmuted into another format): if you have read any of these stories, the voice you hear will not be the voice you heard - the tones will be altered, especially where dialogue is concerned - and said voice often seems somehow inaccurate: not a tune played off-key, but one with an abnormal instrumentation. This is probably due in part to a need for vocal clarity, but sometimes it feels like a misreading, because yours is the only precise rendering. What was a shriek in your mind's ear has become a whimper. Lines full of pathos are delivered without affect. (And Bollinger often seems to trip over punctuation, or decides to pause where no such slowdown appears in the original text - you can almost see the commas and semi-colons floating before your eyes.)
If you are not familiar with these stories, there is the potential for a superimposition of Bollinger's voice upon your own if you subsequently choose to take the leap and read them for yourself. His tincture could stain your images; his dialogue could jump from the mouths of your imagined actors. And your images, your voice, your ideas are essential. For Chekov does not supply easy answers, his ambivalence allows the reader to dig in, to think about what is being proposed; yet one does not necessarily draw a definitive conclusion. (Like, I said - a master.)
Literature is a collaboration between reader and writer. What we get with a story being read to us is an interpretation, and here, an interpretation of a translation, which is itself an interpretation. We are, therefore, thrice removed from the original and I can see Plato smiling and nodding. Bollinger emphasizes words you would not, shades characters as you would not. It’s as if there is an interloper in the mix - you’ve bought a used paperback with the wrong passages underlined.
This is not to say there is anything absolutely immoral with a book on CD. It's fine as long as you accept the aforementioned before hitting the remote, and acquiesce to a lesser experience than you would have had if you'd got together with Anton and read the damn stories as intended. ( )
  exnihilo35 | Mar 30, 2010 |
It is often the case that a seminal work which inspires a movement will actually not be classifiable under the genre it has created. Chekhov is another such innovator, whose followers, like Tolkien's or Petrarch's, are not fit to be placed in the same category as their inspiration.

To digress for a moment, this relates to a philosophical theory on the nature of inspiration which I developed while viewing how my own works often differed from the originals which inspired them. For example, Led Zeppelin inspired scores and scores of imitators who all grew to sound very similar to one another, but by and large, not that similar to Led Zeppelin. Zeppelin was inspired by American bluesmen, jazz, funk, classical compositions, and traditional English music.

They distilled what appealed to them, westernizing and popularizing it. Likewise, Their imitators simplified Zeppelin's music, which is why they all began to sound like one another, but not like Zeppelin. To sound like Zeppelin, you'd have to go back to their sources.

Tolkien's followers fall into the same boat. None of them, at least that I am aware, are philologists able to speak numerous languages and translate myths from their original tongues. Hence, those followers sound like a more accessible Tolkien, while he is a more accessible version of the Eddas.

Chekhov was the innovator of post-modern realism, dealing with small people and their little problems. He came from the Russian dramatist school, and was inspired by absurdist authors like Gogol. His characters tend to bear that oddness which comes off as more realistic than a character who is played completely straight. Real people are weirdos.

Unfortunately, most modern authors, though inspired by his humorous, surprising, heart-wrenching, and often petty stories, have turned them so mundane that truth grows stranger than fiction and fiction grows into an exercise as pointless as any dadaist deconstruction.

Chekhov is simply the best and most believable realist author, and instead of feeding on pain like gourmand Hemmingway, uses it as a sparing, bittersweet spice. ( )
1 vote Terpsichoreus | Jun 9, 2009 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Anton Chekhovprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Pevear, RichardTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pevear, RichardIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Volokhonsky, LarissaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0553381008, Paperback)

Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky, the highly acclaimed translators of War and Peace, Doctor Zhivago, and Anna Karenina, which was an Oprah Book Club pick and million-copy bestseller, bring their unmatched talents to The Selected Stories of Anton Chekhov, a collection of thirty of Chekhov’s best tales from the major periods of his creative life.
 
Considered the greatest short story writer, Anton Chekhov changed the genre itself with his spare, impressionistic depictions of Russian life and the human condition. From characteristically brief, evocative early pieces such as “The Huntsman” and the tour de force “A Boring Story,” to his best-known stories such as “The Lady with the Little Dog” and his own personal favorite, “The Student,” 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 a true understanding of his greatness.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:43:53 -0400)

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