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A timeless observation of the human condition from one of the best story writers in history of world literature. Chekhov's stream of consciousness technique that revolutionised modern literature and his characteristic mix of humour and poignancy unite 11 stories featured in this collection. A Tragic Actor; In A Strange Land; Oh The Public; The Looking Glass; Her Husband; Overdoing It; Talent; Anyuta; The Helpmate; Ivan Matveyich; Polinka;
The selection of stories in this book represents Chekhov's early work which perhaps is not as well known as some of his plays. The stories nevertheless possess unique potency and relevance to our modern lives just as they did back in 19th century Russia when they first appeared in various Russian publications.
Chekhov himself described his work as comic satire: "All I wanted was to say honestly to people: 'Have a look at yourselves and see how bad and dreary your lives are!' The important thing is that people should realize that, for when they do, they will most certainly create another and better life for themselves. I will not live to see it, but I know that it will be quite different, quite unlike our present life."
Chekhov was often criticized by prominent literary reviewers of the time for not providing readers with an answer or ideas how these "dreary lives" can be improved. Of course Chekhov is not giving a direct instruction or providing readers with a manual on how to live a life, but it is possible to find solutions in his stories ? they appear between the lines for each reader. Resolutions are different for each person and only each individual soul can find the right and most appropriate way in their life. Chekhov's own response to this is well documented. He often insisted that the job of an artist was not to answer questions, it was to ask them.
Vol. 1 Contents
01 A Tragic Actor
02 In A Strange Land
03 Oh! The Public
04 The Looking Glass
05 Her Husband
06 Overdoing It
Vol. 2 Contents
03 The Helpmate
04 Ivan Matveyitch