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About Love and Other Stories (Oxford World's Classics) Paperback – 10 Jun 2004

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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: OUP Oxford (10 Jun. 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0192802607
  • ISBN-13: 978-0192802606
  • Product Dimensions: 19.3 x 1.5 x 12.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,252,416 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


...outstanding translations of a selection of Chekhov's stories... (Robert Chandler, Literary Review)

Bartlett's Chekhov is a masterpiece of texture and rhythm. Not a false word anywhere. (Caryl Emerson, Princeton University)

Seventeen peerless examples of how much life you can put into a few pages of fiction if you have Chekhovs economical mind, his eyes and ears, his feel for comedy and his sense of humanity. Chekhov is better known for his plays. But these are small masterpieces of their own, in a revelatory new translation. (Economist)

About the Author

Rosamund Bartlett is currently working on a major biography of Chekhov. She is also editing and jointly translating Anton Chekhov: A Life in Letters, and writing The Cambridge Companion to Russian Music and Opera in Russia: A Cultural History.

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33 of 33 people found the following review helpful By GlynLuke TOP 100 REVIEWER on 9 Sept. 2010
Format: Paperback
This slim yet generous volume of short stories by the writer many, myself included, consider the finest of them all, represents the closest I`ve found to an ideal `best of` Chekhov.
Rosamund Bartlett has translated, with tact and taste, 17 stories, spanning the years 1885-1902, when Chekhov was at his peak as a short story writer. Many of his most perfectly realised tales are here, from the harshly touching The Huntsman to the macabre Gusev; from the marvellous trio of linked tales The Man in a Case, Gooseberries and About Love (which gives the book its title) to the famous Lady With the Little Dog and intensely moving The Bishop. There is also the ghostly The Black Monk and Chekhov`s own favourite, the brief but beautiful The Student.
I am always surprised there has never been, at least to my knowledge, a truly comprehensive anthology of, say, a hundred of his best stories - he wrote at least 600 after all - which would show more fully Chekhov`s sheer versatilty, his humanity, and his greatness as a prose writer of subtle brilliance. He was not a grandly tempestuous Tolstoy, or a tortured Dostoevsky; his genius was quieter, closer to the deft shadings of Maupassant, or his friend Ivan Bunin - another superb master of the short story, and the first Russian to win the Nobel Prize for literature.
This is a wonderful selection which should lead the reader on to explore the many other collections available, among which I would highly recommend the ongoing Penguin Classics series of translations by Ronald Wilks, and an irresistible, perfectly translated volume from Oxford Classics called Early Stories. You might then wish to read a biography of this most lovable of men. But here is as good a place to start as any.
The apt painting by Chekhov`s friend Levitan on the cover does no harm either.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By R. A. Davison TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 24 Feb. 2012
Format: Paperback
I feel I must say at the start : DON'T BE SCARED OF CHEKHOV. I say that because I think that a lot of people view the great Russian writers as hard-going, long and inaccessible. Chekhov is none of these things, and the translation by Rosamund Bartlett makes it an easy read.

Chekhov is renowned in the business as 'the greatest short story writer who has ever lived'. I had already read one of his other short stories 'The Bet' some time ago, which isn't in this collection but is brilliant, do seek it out.

I think that because the collection is called 'About Love' I expected the stories to all be about love, and though a lot of them actually are, I think it's just called that because it's the title of one story.

There are 17 stories total in this collection and as with anything that has a variety I liked some more than others. The first three stories are in fact about love, one about a chance romantic encounter on a journey, another about a father's concern over an errant son, and the first 'The Huntsman', a character who as far as I'm concerned deserves a punch in the face.

'Gusev' a story of two ill men on a boat journey home and 'Fortune', about two shepherds discussing hidden treasure seem to break the pattern, but could both be seen as being about aspects of love in a certain light, the love of adventure and nostalgic love.

After Gusev comes my two favourite stories 'Fish Love' written in 1892 and 'The Black Monk' from 1894. Fish Love because it is so bizarre as to make it unique and The Black Monk because I think it must be a very early example of a character with either bipolar disorder or schizophrenia and as such interested me.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By jenniewren on 3 May 2011
Format: Paperback
Just bought this as I felt like something different. I can not say how much I loved everyone of the short stories. When I finished each one I was truely moved. What a great writer,so beautiful. I am left thinking of the characters long after I had finished the book. Will read and reread again and again.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Khalaf on 9 Jan. 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Excellent read
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 0 reviews
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
An Honest Look at Love 30 Jun. 2008
By Jamie Elliott - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This collection of short stories truly is about love. Not happy-ending fairytale love, but the love that really exists in the world: usually unequal felt, sometimes obsessive, and often inexplicable. The stories are all beautiful, well written and self-contained. Each story exhibits a different type of love: love of parents for children, unrequited love, obsessive love, forbidden loves, loves that could have been. Most fascinating to me is the way Chekhov has written the stories so we can see the motivations of all the various lovers. Some of them really want security, an interest to distract them from their meaningless lives, or just sex. In so many cases, what we would like to call love is just avarice. However the stories are not bleak. There are moments when true concern for others breaks through the characters innately selfish natures. I love Chekhov because his stories feel real, his characters aren't just characters. They are human, with all of our vices, and our slim redeeming virtues.
11 of 15 people found the following review helpful
the translation 9 Nov. 2005
By Albert - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
A well-picked, well-translated, small collections of stories with a sweet introduction (the same translator also wrote a biography of chekhov). She tackled C's long and bold sentences with her own, and has an interesting idea about the "musicality" of C's writing... So warm the samovar, let the serfs off early, and go nuts with this one.
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