The Complete Short Novels PDF/EPUB ✓ The Complete



10 thoughts on “The Complete Short Novels

  1. WILLIAM2 WILLIAM2 says:

    Second reading This is a collection of novellas My Life A Provincial's Story is a brilliant deeply impressive story Its structure is perfect its characterizations deft spot on its descriptive passages vivid tactile redolent Set in 1890 or so it's narrated by a young man Misail a noble who has this highly romanticized notion of manual labor Based in part on Kropotkin's theories of cooperative evolutionary relationships See Mutual Aid His contempt for so called intellectual work such as that undertaken by his ungifted architect father drives that man half mad He fears Misail will turn his back on his noble advantages and become a worker which would be a humiliation to him This is just what Misail does It's a hideous life he's chosen His narration is in part a virtual exposé on the corrupt daily practices of just about everyone in town and it's searing scandalous The nobility the peasants the workers the clergy everyone's taking his off the books kickback He is uite alone for a long time but because he has acted on what he believes in he meets those whom he thinks of as his first true friends in the narrow minded provincial town Masha is the daughter of the town engineer a predacious capitalist who's building a railroad near the town The other is a young man Vladimir soon to take his ualification test to become a doctor Meanwhile Misail's sister is a virtual slave to the tyrannical father Not until her life is half over does she seizing perhaps on Misail's example break away from him I have read Chekhov's entire corpus of 400 or so stories In my humble view My Life is among the 25 or so that are his through the roof masterpieces But be sure to read the Peaver Volokhonsky translation not Contance Garnett's


  2. J.M. Hushour J.M. Hushour says:

    Chekhov's plays and short fiction tend to overshadow these his longer prose works and unfairly as it happens Most of these are concise masterpieces with only one exception to me My Life Most will like be familiar with The Duel which is probably the most well known of these but the other works are just as good The Steppe is a meandering tale of a boy going to the city with a bunch of peasants nostalgic and almost stream of conscious The Story of an Unknown Man was my favorite a kind of intellectual terrorist disguises himself as a servant in the failing household of the son of his movement's nemesis Chekhov's style is enviable for he has a good sense of compact but fertile language The stories themselves can be said to focus overall on missed opportunities and their wake which are as often as not second chances


  3. Ray Ray says:

    A slice of Russian provincial life from the late 19th century told in five talesIn this book Chekhov provides us with a glimpse into family life love loss betrayal infidelity together with drunkeness spite theft and fury In some ways these themes make for a modern read and indeed some of the plots could be TV soaps with just a few modernising tweaks However other aspects are alien there is lots written about servants and horses and we see the thrill of the newfangled railways as they start to carpet the country In particular the episode in the first story The Steppe where a seven year old boy goes skinny dipping with adults he has only just met and is then rubbed down with oil by a priest innocence that jars in these jaded and cynical timesMy own favourite story was the Duel where a philanderer and wastrel is brought to his senses in the face of death rediscovers love and one assumes lives happy ever after


  4. Inderjit Sanghera Inderjit Sanghera says:

    THE HOUSE WITH THE MEZZANINEThe House With The Mezzanine is the story of a somewhat diffident young man a painter and his somewhat tenuous romance with two sisters during a vacation; the story is laden with the impressionistic images conjured up by its narrator and is one of Chekhov’s finest short storiesThe narrator feeling bored during his holidays decides to go for a walk and during his walk he comes across the grounds of an unfamiliar manor house; “The sun was already thinking and the evening shadows lay across the flower rye Two rows of closely planted towering fir trees stood like solid unbroken walls forming a handsome sombre avenueIt was uiet and dark only high up in the trees a vivid golden light uivered here and there and transformed spiders webs into shimmering rainbows” Chekhov brilliantly renders the picture from the perspective of a talented impressionist the narrators keen eye picking out the oscillations of the spiders web via the sinking son a sombre atmosphere pervades the scene a kind of ethereal beauty lingers as the ephemeral beauty of the sun lingers in the avenue; “I went past a white house with a terrace and a kind of mezzanine and suddenly a vista opened a courtyard a large pond with a bathing place a clump of green willows and a village on the far bank with a slender tall tower whose cross glittered in the setting sun” You feel as if you are drifting from one painting to another the narrator comes across two young women “One of them the elder who was slim pale and very pretty with a mass of auburn hair and a stubborn mouth wore a stern expression and hardly looked at me But the other girl still very young no than seventeen or eighteen similarly slim and pale with a large mouth and big eyes looked at me in astonishment as I walked past” Note the contrast between his description of the two women he obviously finds the older attractive and is slightly piued by her perceived indifferent of him whereas the description of the younger is less sensuous Notice also the description of her ‘stubborn mouth’ and the girls ‘astonished’ gaze at the narrator who is obviously somewhat unreliable as he is using his later relationship with them to colour his first meeting with them Not long after this the older sister whose name is Lida pays a visit to the narrator’s friend’s house where he is staying and after giving a speech on various social projects she is leading and needs help with invites him to visit as she and her mother are admirers of his work Was she therefore really as indifferent as the narrator makes her out to be when he first sees her? The narrator is again piued by her behaviour towards him when they visit; she feels he is misusing his talents by not representing the hardships of the poor and he feels her constant interference in their lives leads to harm than good His is treated favourably however by her young sister Zhenya he describes her underdeveloped breasts and her child like habit of touching him with her shoulder he finds her charming and inoffensive somewhat indolent like him irrepressibly childish whereas Lida whose views he claims he deplores he finds fascinating “She was a vivacious sincere young girl with strong views And it was fascinating listening to her although she said a lot and in a loud voice” He becomes a regular visitor to the house and his thoughts invariably turn to Lida whose mouth now becomes ‘finely modelled’ he watches her distribute aid the poor yet the two get along no better than before and he feels she holds him in contempt for his supposed indifference to the plight of the poor The two indeed stand in stark contrast to one another her social causes cause him to become subconsciously aware of his own diffidence and lack of purpose whereas his arguments maker her aware of the hypocrisy of her own attitude; after all by raising the peasants aspirations is she not setting them up to fail in a society in which they cannot progress and “it is easy enough to play the good Samaritan when one had five thousand acres of one’s own” Lida who has established an autocratic power over family and friends is not having her ideas uestioned and responds badly to the narrator’s caustic criticisms yet the two are irretrievably drawn to one another On a conscious level at least the narrator is drawn to Missy who obviously admires him as a person and an artist no doubt stroking his bruised ego though there is an obvious romantic element to this; “When I came she would bush slightly on seeing me put down her book look into my face with her big eyes and tell me enthusiastically what had been happening” The narrator is aware of this but gently encourages it they go for walks go boating and pick cherries but it is important to note that he does not reciprocate the feelings; only able to observe Missy through the lenses of adolescence he sees her as a kindred spirit of sort and if he does encourage her affections it is merely to fan the flames of jealousy that Lida feels when she sees them two going for walks; “Lida had just returned from somewhere and she stood by the front porch crop in hand looking graceful and beautiful in the sunlight; she was giving orders to one of the workmen Talking very loudly she hurriedly spoke to one or two of the patients and then with a preoccupied and busy look marched through the rooms opened one cupboard after another after which she went to the attic storey” The narrator’s revels in the reverence in which Missy and her mother hold him he notes with some trepidation that they regard Lida as an enigma a general of sorts yet perhaps he is mixing his own feelings in with theirs? His friendship with the family makes him want to paint again but also makes him uestion his lack of direction in life despite the fact that it is this very idleness that attracts him Missy and her mother and divides him from Lida He muses to his friend “Lida could only fall in love with a council worker who is as devoted as she is to hospitals and schools Oh for a girl like her one would not only do welfare work but wear a pair of iron boots like the girls in the fairy tale And there’s Missy Isn’t she charming this Missy?” The narrator is extolling the ‘charms’ of Missy in a language redolent with indifference yet is perhaps perturbed that Lida would only fall for a council worker and not perhaps a landscape painterAt their next meeting the two again begin a juvenile argument about politics; the narrator is obviously watching her closely as she enters the room as he mentions her removing her gloves details he rarely gives Missy who he finds so charming the narrator argues that her changes to living standards of the poor are shallow and egocentric she retorts that is better to do something than nothing at all and the most pathetic hospital is worth than any landscape painting The narrator leaves for home after the argument and meets Missy at the gates; “It was a sad August night sad because there was already a breath of autumn of the air” The narrator is obviously aware that the summer of his holiday and acuaintance with the Volchaninovs will soon be coming to an end “The moon was rising veiled by a crimson cloud and casting a dim light on the road and the dark fields of winter corn along its sides There were many shooting stars Zhenya walked along the road at my side trying not to see the shooting stars which frightened her for some reason” The narrator realizes that he is in love with Missy he loves because her because she admires him as an artist and reveres him as a person he is astonished by the depth of her mind and somewhat fatuously “suspects she is very intelligent” her beauty moves him to what I am not too sure except for an elouent solilouy about her appreciation of his art one suspects why after spending so much time with Missy he is still unsure about her intelligence his declaration of love for her is somewhat vague and empty and completely egocentric his still thinks bitterly about her pretty sister who has no appreciation of his artistic talents despite the fact that Lida stated she admired his work and criticised it for its lack of purpose He kisses her and she flushed with excitement departs for home where he follows her and watches the house “I walked past the terrace and sat down on a bench on the darkness under the old elm by the tennis court In the window of the attic storey where she slept a bright light suddenly shone turning soft green when the lamp was covered with a shade I was full of tenderness calm and contentment because I had let myself get carried away and fallen in love And at the same time I was troubled by the thought that a few steps away Lida lived in one of the rooms of that house Lida who disliked and possibly hated me” Given that Lida retires to the attic after seeing the narrator and Missy returning from a walk and that he hears voices in the attic Lida probably sleeps there with Missy again although the narrator states he is in love with Missy his thoughts stray back to and are dominated by Lida and her apparent dislike to him; he feels the attic window where she sleeps staring at him with comprehending eyes unlike the sad gentle looks which Missy gives himThe narrator returns the next day to be confronted by Lida who tells her Missy and her mother left that morning Later he is handed a letter from Missy telling him that Lida disapproves of their relationship and so has sent her away The narrator is despondent on his way back home he notes; “Then came the dark fir avenue the broken down fence” The story has come full circles as the narrator departs the estate via the route he first entered “On that same field where I first saw the flowering rye and hear the uails calling cows and hobbled horses were grazing Here and there on the hills were the bright green patches of winter corn A sombre humdrum mood came over me and I felt ashamed of all I had said at the Volchaninovs” Perhaps he is ashamed of leading Missy on or being so acerbic and rude to Lida? He soon leaves for home and never sees them again though he does learn that Lida has strengthened her political grip on the area though he had no news on Missy he sometimes harks back to the time and remembers the green lamp in the attic or his footstep as he walked home The narrator is still however consumed by loneliness and diffidence The House With the Mezzanine is amongst Chekhov’s most beautiful short stories; it conjures up and idyllic picture of the youth of the narrator and of his falling in love that he attributes this love to the wrong person is a symbol of not only by his naiveté but his egocentricity although he is critical of Lida for the egocentric element of her charity he fails to recognise this element of his own personality and how it blinds him to his true emotions Perhaps Lida and the narrator are similar than they care to imagine; both are driven by immense passion for entirely different causes both are stubborn arrogant and intelligent both are attracted to each other but fail to acknowledge this attraction and the innocent naïve Missy is dragged in between Both are wrong in their assertions firstly the narrator is his somewhat portentous political statements after all as Lida state in nobody acts to redress the ineualities of society then there will never be any progress As for Lida’s myopic statement that art has no aesthetic value and that it must have a social element there is no greater irony that this being said in a work of Chekhov whose work is ‘art for arts sake’ and yet did to increase awareness of the plight of the poor than any social works and immortalized the lives of the Russian of the time than any history book After all the emotional underplay of the novel and the beautiful descriptions of the environment are eternal as is all great art and so will resonate so long as humans feel love and appreciate beauty whereas art concerned with political is ephemeral by its very nature


  5. S.L. Jones S.L. Jones says:

    I was sort of upset when I came upon the last page and had to finish this book this is the kind of book that could go on and on and on and you wouldn’t get bored This book is life the fate of so many seemingly real people and the perfect escape from your own subsistenceSome uotes of my preference very random“The Russian man likes to remember but does not like to live”“To constantly go into raptures over nature is to show the paucity of your imagination All these brooks and cliffs are nothing but trash compared to what my imagination can give me”“I’m sorry the man is not in military service He’d make an excellent brilliant general He’d know how to drown his cavalry in the river and make bridges from the corpses and such boldness is necessary in war than any fortifications or tactics”“Prejudice and hatefulness When soldiers see a girl of light behavior they guffaw and whistle but ask them what they are themselves”It takes all kinds to make a world Det finns fölk till allt“When he lapsed into thought over supper rolling little balls of bread and drinking a good deal of red wine then strangely enough I was almost certain that there was something sitting in him which he probably sensed vaguely himself but which because of bustle and banalities he never managed to understand and appreciate”“I look at love first of all as a need of my organism low and hostile to my spirit; it should be satisfied reasonably or renounced entirely otherwise it will introduce elements as impure as itself into your life”The meaning of life is only in one thing—in struggle To plant your heel on the vile serpent’s head so that it goes ‘crack’ The meaning is in that In that alone or else there’s no meaning at all” they found the gray Moscow weather most pleasant and healthy Days when cold rain raps at the windows and dusk falls early and the walls of houses and churches take on a brown mournful color and you do not know what to put on when you go outside—such days pleasantly excited them“I’m uite unable to adjust to life to master it Another man talks stupidly or cheats and does it so cheerfully while it happens that I do good consciously and feel nothing but anxiety or total indifference”“Progress lies in works of love in the fulfillment of the moral law If you don’t enslave anyone are not a burden to anyone what progress do you want?”“If you don’t make your neighbors feed you clothe you drive you around protect you from enemies then isn’t that progress in a life that’s all built on slavery? In my opinion that is the most genuine progress and perhaps the only kind possible and necessary for man”


  6. Helen Helen says:

    I was surprised that David Gilmour chose to talk about Chekhov's personality a matter so subjective and where did he find the sources anyway when there are so many juicy fact backed tidbits to talk about1 If we are talking about his virtues isn't it likely that he contracted that tuberculosis because he was running left and right healing the peasants on his estate?2 How about the fact that he was not much of a romantic and preferred professional touch? That he got married reluctantly and never really lived together with this wife? One would think Gilmour would be all over that consideringAnd I take offense at Gilmour's comment about Chekhov looking older than his years It's only the beardFLAG AWAY


  7. Don Pickworth Don Pickworth says:

    The Steppe 45 stars just straight vibesThe Duel 35The Story of an Unknown Man 55Three Years 15 either this went way over my head or what is this actually about??? Seems to be basically focused on the fact life is miserable and a lot of that misery can happen in a relatively short space of time like a span of 3 yearsMy Life 355


  8. Meeg Meeg says:

    NOTE Out of the novellas in this collection I've only read The DuelistI'm taking a class where we read both the PevearVolokhonsky translation this edition and the translation by Constance Garnett Everyone in the class preferred the Garnett translation She does a better job capturing the poetry and the humor of the original; PV's translation may stick closer to the literal Russian but 9 times out of 10 when Garnett renders a phrase loosely it reads naturally in English while conveying the same meaning and staying loyal to the spirit of the original Eg PV have Samoilenko refer to his friend Laevsky as dear heart while Garnett has him say my dear boy No doubt dear heart is exactly what it says in Russian but it sticks out like a broken thumb No one would say that in English and my dear boy gets the point across just fine Garnett was a late Victorian Englishwoman but on the whole her translation isn't hard to read or distractingly antiuated and if there's sometimes a phrase that sounds a bit turn of the 20th century maybe that's OK given that Chekhov wrote the original around the turn of the 20th century And if you need further convincing the Garnett translation of The Duel and Other Stories is in the public domain and available free from project GutenbergCONCLUSION I would not recommend buying this edition when you can find a copy of the superior Garnett translation for free


  9. Rodrigo Rodrigo says:

    It is really great to read an absolute master like Chekov I used to like his short stories when I was a teenager but it has been a while since I last had something by him in my hands After reading an old book by Edmund Wilson where he tells about a trip to the Soviet Union and digresses a bit about Russian literature I decided to try Chekhov again And I loved it Every story is populated with amazing characters carefully developed humanistic and tender The building forces of Russian society in the 19th century are all there church proletariat aristocracy articulating themselves around mundane and at the same time complex situations on an individual level The translation is careful and delicate showing a deep respect for the original without losing sight of the pleasure of the reader Highly recommended


  10. Kristie Kristie says:

    I thoroughly enjoyed these five short novels and highly recommend them for anyone interested in Russian literature from the late 1800's The new translation by Pevear and Volokhonsky is masterful With the exception of The Steppe which is a lovely story of a young boy who accompanies his uncle on a thousand mile journey across the steppe all the other novels involve the exploration of love relationships and the complexity of navigating through the changes that were taking place in pre revolutionary Russia The novels reveal surprisingly modern behavior and give a very interesting insight into how the wealthy and educated were starting to come to terms with the issues that would eventually spark the revolution itself These novels are immensely readable as well as entertaining and historically fascinating


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The Complete Short Novels [PDF / Epub] ☀ The Complete Short Novels ✍ Anton Chekhov – Thomashillier.co.uk Anton Chekhov widely hailed as the supreme master of the short story also wrote five works long enough to be called short novels Here brought together in one volume for the first time in a masterly ne Anton Chekhov widely hailed as the supreme master of the short story also The Complete PDF/EPUB or wrote five works long enough to be called short novels Here brought together in one volume for the first time in a masterly new translation by the award winning translators Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky The Steppe—the most lyrical of the five—is an account of a nine year old boy’s frightening journey by wagon train across the steppe of southern Russia The Duel sets two decadent figures—a fanatical rationalist and a man of literary sensibility—on a collision course that ends in a series of surprising reversals In The Story of an Unknown Man a political radical spying on an important official by serving as valet to his son gradually discovers that his own terminal illness has changed his long held priorities in startling ways Three Years recounts a complex series of ironies in the personal life of a rich but passive Moscow merchant In My Life a man renounces wealth and social position for a life of manual laborThe resulting conflict between the moral simplicity of his ideals and the complex realities of human nature culminates in a brief apocalyptic vision that is uniue in Chekhov’s workBook Jacket Status Jacketed  From the Hardcover edition.