Ward No. 6 and Other Stories, 1892-1895 (Penguin Classics)
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
Tales of madness, alienation, and insight from a master of the short story
Ward No. 6 and Other Stories 1892-1895 collects stories which show Anton Chekhov beginning to confront complex, ambiguous and often extreme emotions in his short fiction. These stories from the middle period of Chekhov's career include - influenced by his own experiences as a doctor - 'Ward No. 6', a savage indictment of the medical profession set in a mental hospital; 'The Black Monk', portraying an academic who has strange hallucinations, explores ideas of genius and insanity; 'Murder', in which religious fervour leads to violence; while in 'The Student', Chekhov's favourite story, a young man recounts a tale from the gospels and undergoes a spiritual epiphany. In all the stories collected here, Chekhov's characters face madness, alienation and frustration before they experience brief, ephemeral moments of insight, often earned at great cost, where they confront the reality of their existence.
This is the second in three chronological volumes of Chekhov's short stories in Penguin Classics. Ronald Wilks's lucid translation is accompanied by an introduction discussing the increasingly experimental style of Chekhov's writing during this time. This edition also contains an annotated bibliography, chronology and explanatory notes.
For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
clerks’ duty to pray night and day for their benefactors. ‘Fine, but please don’t include me among your benefactors’, Laptev said. ‘Every man must remember what he is and be conscious of his station in life. By the grace of God you are our father and benefactor and we are your slaves.’ ‘I’m just about sick and tired of all this!’ Laptev fumed. ‘Now, you be my benefactor for a change and tell me how the business stands. Please stop treating me like a child or I’ll close down the warehouse
why generalize? Why judge all women by Ariadna alone? Surely women’s striving for education and sexual equality – which I take as a striving towards justice – in itself rules out any idea of regression. But Shamokhin was hardly listening and smiled sceptically. Here was an impassioned, confirmed misogynist and it was impossible to make him change his mind. ‘Hey! Enough of that!’ he interrupted. ‘Once a woman doesn’t see me as a man or as an equal, but as the male of the species and spends her
on for two hours. His words struck home and my eyes were opened. I listened and listened – and I just sobbed my heart out! And he said, “Be like normal men, eat, drink, dress and pray like everyone else. Doing more than you ought is the work of the Devil. Those irons of yours are the Devil’s, your fasts are from the Devil and your chapel’s a Devil’s chapel. It’s all pride.” ‘Next day – the first Monday in Lent – God willed me to fall ill. I’d strained myself and was taken to hospital. I suffered
Yakov Ivanych thought that the buffet attendant had gone. It was high time for vespers. He called Aglaya and, thinking no one was at home, began singing in a loud, uninhibited voice. He sang and read, but in his mind he recited something quite different, ‘Lord forgive me! Lord save me!’ And without stopping he performed a series of low bows, as though he wanted to tire himself out, shaking his head the whole time so that Aglaya looked at him in astonishment. He was scared Matvey might come in –
‘Doctors can talk rubbish, I do agree, but not that much’, Auntie sighed. ‘Pyotr Andreyevich, God rest his soul, lost his sight. Like you, he worked all day in the factory near a hot furnace and he went blind. Heat damages the eyes. Well, what’s the use of talking?’ She gave a start. ‘Let’s have a drink! Merry Christmas, my dears! I don’t usually drink, but I’ll have one with you. God forgive me! Cheers!’ After what had happened yesterday, Anna Akimovna felt that Pimenov despised her as a