July 15, 2022

Steppe, by Anton Chekhov

Steppe, by Anton Chekhov
The Vladimirka. Isaac Levitan (1892)

Steppe was the creative turning point that made Anton Chekhov famous, at just 28. Published in 1888, the year Chekhov was awarded the Russian Academy’s prestigious Pushkin Prize, it is a sweeping tale that is a tribute to the Ukrainian steppe, in which the land, nature, and the weather are all as significant characters as the young protagonist and the interesting people he meets. Biographer Donald Rayfield said the tale was Chekhov’s “memorial to a wild countryside that was now engulfed… Steppe is literally a masterpiece.” This is just an excerpt in the novella-length tale. The entire work is available in a Russian Life Bilingual edition.

This short excerpt comes about halfway through the novella, when Yegorushka, the young protagonist who is being transported to a new town where he will attend a gymnasium, wanders off to explore a local village.


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