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 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 labor.
The resulting conflict between the moral simplicity of his ideals and the complex realities of human nature culminates in a brief apocalyptic vision that is unique in Chekhov's work.
(Book Jacket Status: Jacketed)
About the Author
Anton Chekhov (1860-1904), Russian physician, dramatist and author, is considered to be one of the greatest writers of short stories and modern drama. Born in Taganrog, a port town near the Black Sea, he attended medical school at Moscow University. He began writing to supplement his income, writing short humorous sketches of contemporary Russian life. A successful literary careered followed, before his premature death of TB at the age of 44. He is best-remembered for his four dramatic masterpieces: "The Seagull" (1896), "Uncle Vanya" (1899), "Three Sisters" (1901) and "The Cherry Orchard" (1904).
Pevear is a poet and translator.
Praise for previous translations by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky, winners of the PEN/Book-of-the-Month Club Prize:
The Brothers Karamazov
“One finally gets the musical whole of Dostoevsky’s original.” –New York Times Book Review
“It may well be that Dostoevsky’s [world], with all its resourceful energies of life and language, is only now–and through the medium of [this] new translation–beginning to come home to the English-speaking reader.” –New York Review of Books
Crime and Punishment
“The best [translation] currently available…An especially faithful re-creation…with a coiled-spring kinetic energy…Don’t miss it.” –Washington Post Book World
“This fresh, new translation…provides a more exact, idiomatic, and contemporary rendition of the novel that brings Fyodor Dostoevsky’s tale achingly alive…It succeeds beautifully.” –San Francisco Chronicle
“Reaches as close to Dostoevsky’s Russian as is possible in English…The original’s force and frightening immediacy is captured…The Pevear and Volokhonsky translation will become the standard version.” –Chicago Tribune
“The merit in this edition of Demons resides in the technical virtuosity of the translators…They capture the feverishly intense, personal explosions of activity and emotion that manifest themselves in Russian life.” –New York Times Book Review
“[Pevear and Volokhonsky] have managed to capture and differentiate the characters’ many voices…They come into their own when faced with Dostoevsky’s wonderfully quirky use of varied speech patterns…A capital job of restoration.” –Los Angeles Times