Free Chekhov!

By Staff
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Most Americans know Anton Chekhov for his plays–produced in frequency only behind Shakespeare’s–and yet, his greatest legacy to the literary world might be his short stories.

Chekhov never left a reader settled, breaking the comfy rules of Victorian fiction and paving the way for future iconoclasts like Virginia Woolf. Although Chekhov died at 44, he left behind hundreds of stories, 201 of which are collected online under public domain at ibiblio, a collaborative project between the Schools of Information and Library Science, and Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

A word of warning: All the translations are the work of Constance Garnett, who both introduced the English speakers to 19th-century Russian literature and sullied some of its richness with Victorian quaintness. Luckily, the stories are annotated by site complier James Rusk for cultural clarity, and he points out where Garnett took liberties. Rusk also provides an introductory reading list.

Eric Kelsey

(Thanks, Open Culture and MetaFilter)

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