These stories of misery have none of that, they are tales of the ignorant, of the emotionally stunted, who bumble into one stupidity after another, never realizing why or what it means. Sure, we all might feel that way sometimes, if we're depressed, and so we look at the world and say 'it sucks out there, and always will'--and part of it is that we want that to be true, too. But that's what's amazing about Chekhov, because by all rights, that is what his stories should be: these little moments of sad life for these miserable little nobodies who don't know any better. Yet Chekhov's stupid little people are impossible to hate, because they seem real. I know they don't, because one girl asked my professor "Why is Chekhov such a pessimist?" He was utterly confounded by the question, he couldn't understand where it came from, how anyone could come to that conclusion. If I'm fighting, I want to know what I'm up against. To me, optimism isn't self-delusion, it isn't being in good spirits when things are going fine--that's too easy, anyone can do that--it's pushing on even when time are hard, even knowing they will probably still be hard tomorrow.
Just finished the final story of this collection !
There are thirty-four stories by the master in this volume and I might write about every single one in the book theyre all like pearls: some just a little bit bigger and some just a little bit smaller Vanka Zhukov, a nine-year-old boy, sent three months earlier to be apprenticed to the shoemaker Aliakhin, did not go to bed on Christmas eve. He waited till master and apprentices went to church, then took a bottle of ink and a pen with a rusty nib from the masters cupboard, spread out a rumpled sheet of paper in front of him, and began to write. Nikolai Ivanych laughed and gazed silently at the gooseberries for a moment with tears in his eyes he couldnt speak for excitement; then he put one berry in his mouth, glanced at me with the triumph of a child who has finally gotten his favorite toy Humans are quite different some wish for the stars in their pockets and for some a plateful of gooseberries is enough
I didn't know why these things would happen when I read Chekov. It's almost like hypnosis, the descriptions, the word combinations, etc. He writes one thing, but the way you will understand it and digest it mentally and physically is completely unexpected.
Chekhov's overall view of life, as revealed in the stories, is that the lot of man and woman is an unhappy one. The circumstances differ, the goods and evils of life vary from case to case, the balance figures differently from one man or woman to the next, but ultimately if we ask of each life "was it worth living?", Chekhov seems to say "perhaps, very marginally ... One which was perhaps very skillfully written, even though I was ultimately bored by it, was a story called ... I thought some of the best stories were "Sleepy", "Gusev", "Peasant Women", "Ward No. 6", "The Black Monk" and "At Christmastime". "Ward No. 6", a much longer story at over 50 pages, is a magnificent tale of the way in which two good men, through no fault of their own, can be dealt shockingly bad hands by life.
His subjects were silly social situations, marital problems, farcical encounters between husbands, wives, mistresses, and lovers, whims of young women, of whom Chekhov had not much knowledge the author was was shy with women even after his marriage. Chekhov's first novel, Nenunzhaya pobeda (1882), set in Hungary, parodied the novels of the popular Hungarian writer Mór Jókai. By 1886 Chekhov had gained a wide fame as a writer. In 1886 Chekhov met H.S. Suvorin, who invited him to become a regular contributor for the St. Petersburg daily Novoe vremya. His friendship with Suvorin ended in 1898 because of his objections to the anti-Dreyfus campaingn conducted by paper. compassion." Chekhov's first book of stories (1886) was a success, and gradually he became a full-time writer. The failure of his play The Wood Demon (1889) and problems with his novel made Chekhov to withdraw from literature for a period.