38: Happiness

Departments and More

  • 8

    The Pursuit of Happiness

    An introduction to the issue. Literature
  • 13

    On the Happiest Time of Life

    It is the middle ages in life that are the most likely to be the happiest. Fiction
  • 17

    Oblomov

    An excerpt from the classic tale, where Oblomov describes his notion of true happiness. Fiction
  • 31

    To An Unknown Friend

    A short, eloquent piece on happiness, presented bilingually. Fiction
  • 35

    Gooseberries

    An excerpt from Chekhov's classic tale about the different notions of happiness. Fiction
  • 47

    A Traveler's Tale

    In this quixotic tale within a tale, Tolstoy (who himself had a history of artistic opportunism) explores the experiences of a “superfluous man” whose life spans the Civil War and Revolution, who at once longs for his happy, carefree life before 1914, while reveling in how war “fans the soul.” Fiction
  • 59

    Domestic Bliss

    Zoshchenko addresses the “women’s emancipation” effort that led to the creation of canteens, kindergartens and other social services meant to free women from traditional housework and thereby grant them a happy and dignified life. Fiction
  • 63

    Anna Karenina

    In these excerpts from Tolstoy’s classic novel, we check in on Anna, Vronsky, Levin and Kitty after all have made their respective romantic choices. None, save perhaps Kitty, are realizing the happiness they dreamed of, but at least two of them will overcome this. Fiction
  • 77

    The Book of Happiness

    The Book of Happiness, loosely based on Nina Berberova’s years spent living in Paris, follows the heroine Vera as she struggles through life abroad with a dying husband. After his passing, Vera meets a stranger who opens her eyes to what it means to be truly content. Fiction
  • 89

    Person to Person

    A traveler shares a story from his personal life, to show how a chance interaction gave him a new perspective on contentment and happiness. Fiction
  • 99

    The Same Old Story

    To leave home, a boy must cope with his mother’s anguish. She cannot understand why he would leave behind the happiness of the known to the uncertainty of the unknown. Excerpted from a newly released translation published by Bunim & Bannigan. Fiction
  • 105

    Woe from Wit

    In Griboyedov’s classic satire on Russian high society, Sophia is in love with Molchalin – a dull collegiate assessor who she is unaware is attempting to seduce her maid Liza (as is Sophia’s father). Enter Chatsky, recently returned from travels, to attempt to win Sophia’s heart. Excerpted from the forthcoming full bilingual edition by Russian Life books.
  • 119

    Happiness

    Two old men pass the night sharing tales of buried treasures, wondering at the happiness they might bring. Meanwhile, they are seemingly unaware of the beautiful treasures of nature that surround them in the here and now. Fiction

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