Anton Chekhov: Early Short Stories, 1883-1888

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Modern Library, 1999 - Fiction - 642 pages
11 Reviews
This collection, selected by Shelby Foote, presents seventy of Chekhov's early short stories, written between 1883 and 1888, in celebrated translations by Constance Garnett. One of the most memorable is "The Death of a Government Clerk, " a glorious parody in which a fawning official is undone by an ill-timed sneeze. "On the Road, " the history of an educated man's search for convictions, is one of Chekhov's finest dramatic stories and the source of his first full-length play, Ivanov. And in "The Steppe, " which marked a turning point in Chekhov's career, a boy's picaresque journey across the Russian heartland evokes the soul of Russia itself.

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Review: Later Short Stories, 1888-1903 (Modern Library)

User Review  - Jesse - Goodreads

Still the best short story writer. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - JVioland - LibraryThing

Absolutely brilliant. Highly recommended. In my opinion, he is the greatest short story writer of all time. Read full review

Contents

Joy
3
Choristers
22
The Marshals Widow
45
Copyright

3 other sections not shown

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About the author (1999)

Anton Pavlovich Chekhov was born in the provincial town of Taganrog, Ukraine, in 1860. In the mid-1880s, Chekhov became a physician, and shortly thereafter he began to write short stories. Chekhov started writing plays a few years later, mainly short comic sketches he called vaudvilles. The first collection of his humorous writings, Motley Stories, appeared in 1886, and his first play, Ivanov, was produced in Moscow the next year. In 1896, the Alexandrinsky Theater in St. Petersburg performed his first full- length drama, The Seagull. Some of Chekhov's most successful plays include The Cherry Orchard, Uncle Vanya, and Three Sisters. Chekhov brought believable but complex personalizations to his characters, while exploring the conflict between the landed gentry and the oppressed peasant classes. Chekhov voiced a need for serious, even revolutionary, action, and the social stresses he described prefigured the Communist Revolution in Russia by twenty years. He is considered one of Russia's greatest playwrights. Chekhov contracted tuberculosis in 1884, and was certain he would die an early death. In 1901, he married Olga Knipper, an actress who had played leading roles in several of his plays. Chekhov died in 1904, spending his final years in Yalta.

Author and historian Shelby Foote was born in Greenville, Mississippi on November 17, 1916. He was educated at the University of North Carolina and served with the U.S. Army artillery during World War II. He was dismissed in 1944 for using a government vehicle against regulations. He later enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps, but did not see active duty. After being discharged from the military, he briefly became a journalist. He has written short stories, plays, and longer works, but is best known for his three-volume narrative history of the Civil War. He was awarded Guggenheim fellowships in 1958, 1959, and 1960, a Ford Foundation grant in 1963, and the Dos Passos Prize for Literature in 1988. In 2003, Foote received the Peggy V. Helmerich Distinguished Author Award. The Helmerich Award is presented annually by the Tulsa Library Trust. He appeared in Ken Burns' PBS documentary The Civil War. He died at home in Memphis, Tennessee, on June 27, 2005 due to a heart attack. He was interred in Elmwood Cemetery in Memphis.

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