Selected early short stories 1887

201 Stories by Anton Chekhov

About Anton Chekhov: One of Russia's greatest writers, Chekhov began his career writing jokes and anecdotes for popular magazines to support himself while he studied to become a doctor. Between 1888 and his death he single-handedly revolutionized both the drama and the short story. Near the end of his life he married an actress, Olga Knipper. He died from tuberculosis in 1904, age 44.

About this project: Constance Garnett translated and published 13 volumes of Chekhov stories in the years 1916-1922. Unfortunately, the order of the stories is almost random, and in the last volume Mrs. Garnett stated: 'I regret that it is impossible to obtain the necessary information for a chronological list of all Tchehov's works.' This site presents all 201 stories in the order of their publication in Russia.

'Reading Chekhov was just like the angels singing to me.' -- Eudora Welty, 1977


097 - Champagne

098 - Frost

099 - The Beggar

100 - Enemies

101 - Darkness

102 - Polinka

103 - Drunk

104 - An Inadvertence

105 - Verotchka

106 - Shrove Tuesday

107 - A Defenceless Creature

108 - A Bad Business

109 - Home

110 - The Lottery Ticket

111 - Too Early!

112 - Typhus

113 - In Passion Week

114 - A Mystery

115 - The Cossack

116 - The Letter

117 - An Adventure

118 - The Examining Magistrate

119 - Aborigines

120 - Volodya

122 - Bad Weather

123 - A Play

124 - A Transgression

125 - From the Diary of a Violent-Tempered Man

126 - Uprooted

127 - A Father

128 - A Happy Ending

129 - In the Coach-House

130 - Zinotchka

131 - The Doctor

132 - The Pipe

133 - An Avenger

134 - The Post

135 - The Runaway

136 - A Problem

137 - The Old House

138 - The Cattle Dealers

139 - Expensive Lessons

140 - The Lion and the Sun

141 - In Trouble

142 - The Kiss

145 - A Lady's Story



by Anton Chekhov

IN the year in which my story begins I had a job at a little station on one of our southwestern railways. Whether I had a gay or a dull life at the station you can judge from the fact that for fifteen miles round there was not one human habitation, not one woman, not one decent tavern; and in those days I was young, strong, hot- headed, giddy, and foolish. The only distraction I could possibly find was in the windows of the passenger trains, and in the vile vodka which the Jews drugged with thorn-apple. Sometimes there would be a glimpse of a woman's head at a carriage window, and one would stand like a statue without breathing and stare at it until the train turned into an almost invisible speck; or one would drink all one could of the loathsome vodka till one was stupefied and did not feel the passing of the long hours and days. Upon me, a native of the north, the steppe produced the effect of a deserted Tatar cemetery. In the summer the steppe with its solemn calm, the monotonous chur of the grasshoppers, the transparent moonlight from which one could not hide, reduced me to listless melancholy; and in the winter the irreproachable whiteness of the steppe, its cold distance, long nights, and howling wolves oppressed me like a heavy nightmare. There were several people living at the station: my wife and I, a deaf and scrofulous telegraph clerk, and three watchmen. My assistant, a young man who was in consumption, used to go for treatment to the town, where he stayed for months at a time, leaving his duties to me together with the right of pocketing his salary. I had no children, no cake would have tempted visitors to come and see me, and I could only visit other officials on the line, and that no oftener than once a month.

I remember my wife and I saw the New Year in. We sat at table, chewed lazily, and heard the deaf telegraph clerk monotonously tapping on his apparatus in the next room. I had already drunk five glasses of drugged vodka, and, propping my heavy head on my fist, thought of my overpowering boredom from which there was no escape,

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