January 30, 2020

#TBT Happy Birthday Anton Pavlovich



#TBT Happy Birthday Anton Pavlovich
Anton Chekhov and Olga Knipper, 1901.

Yesterday, January 29, was Anton Pavlovich Chekhov's 160th birthday. Let's celebrate with some links to stories we have published about the great writer in Russian Life and online.

Meanwhile, over on Facebook, we'll be sharing some choice quotes from Anton Pavlovich over the coming month. Like this one: "I am of the opinion that real happiness is impossible without idleness. My ideal is to be idle and love a plump girl."

Let's begin with the collection of his writings we published in bilingual format. What better way to make use of Chekhov than by improving your Russian by reading his stories?

We've published a few bios of him in the magazine, including this one, and this one. We've written about his dog, about when he met Tolstoy, and about Chekhovian fillers. That should be enough to get you started. Then look below, in the Additional Reading links. We'll add some other stories of interest down there.

"The happy man only feels happy because the unhappy man bears his burden in silence."

– Anton Chekhov, "Gooseberries"
Three Stories for Maslenitsa
  • February 01, 1996

Three Stories for Maslenitsa

Three stories by Chekhov are translated here for the season of late winter and Maslenitsa: Bliny, The Stupid Frenchman, and On Frailty.
Anton Pavlovich Chekhov
  • January 01, 2010

Anton Pavlovich Chekhov

Chekhov was one of Russia's most prolific and influential writers, and this January marks his 150th birthday. We look back at his work, always worth another read.
The Poet of Laughter
  • April 01, 1999

The Poet of Laughter

Russian Life visits with a leading expert on Nikolai Gogol, to consider the writer's legacy and influence.
When Chekhov Met Tolstoy
  • August 08, 2019

When Chekhov Met Tolstoy

On this day in 1895, two Titans of Russian literature met for the first time and had a swim. Or did they?
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Some of Our Books

Murder and the Muse

Murder and the Muse

KGB Chief Andropov has tapped Matyushkin to solve a brazen jewel heist from Picasso’s wife at the posh Metropole Hotel. But when the case bleeds over into murder, machinations, and international intrigue, not everyone is eager to see where the clues might lead.
The Samovar Murders

The Samovar Murders

The murder of a poet is always more than a murder. When a famous writer is brutally stabbed on the campus of Moscow’s Lumumba University, the son of a recently deposed African president confesses, and the case assumes political implications that no one wants any part of.
At the Circus

At the Circus

This wonderful novella by Alexander Kuprin tells the story of the wrestler Arbuzov and his battle against a renowned American wrestler. Rich in detail and characterization, At the Circus brims with excitement and life. You can smell the sawdust in the big top, see the vivid and colorful characters, sense the tension build as Arbuzov readies to face off against the American.
Jews in Service to the Tsar

Jews in Service to the Tsar

Benjamin Disraeli advised, “Read no history: nothing but biography, for that is life without theory.” With Jews in Service to the Tsar, Lev Berdnikov offers us 28 biographies spanning five centuries of Russian Jewish history, and each portrait opens a new window onto the history of Eastern Europe’s Jews, illuminating dark corners and challenging widely-held conceptions about the role of Jews in Russian history.
Bears in the Caviar

Bears in the Caviar

Bears in the Caviar is a hilarious and insightful memoir by a diplomat who was “present at the creation” of US-Soviet relations. Charles Thayer headed off to Russia in 1933, calculating that if he could just learn Russian and be on the spot when the US and USSR established relations, he could make himself indispensable and start a career in the foreign service. Remarkably, he pulled it of.
The Frogs Who Begged for a Tsar

The Frogs Who Begged for a Tsar

The fables of Ivan Krylov are rich fonts of Russian cultural wisdom and experience – reading and understanding them is vital to grasping the Russian worldview. This new edition of 62 of Krylov’s tales presents them side-by-side in English and Russian. The wonderfully lyrical translations by Lydia Razran Stone are accompanied by original, whimsical color illustrations by Katya Korobkina.
Driving Down Russia's Spine

Driving Down Russia's Spine

The story of the epic Spine of Russia trip, intertwining fascinating subject profiles with digressions into historical and cultural themes relevant to understanding modern Russia. 
Marooned in Moscow

Marooned in Moscow

This gripping autobiography plays out against the backdrop of Russia's bloody Civil War, and was one of the first Western eyewitness accounts of life in post-revolutionary Russia. Marooned in Moscow provides a fascinating account of one woman's entry into war-torn Russia in early 1920, first-person impressions of many in the top Soviet leadership, and accounts of the author's increasingly dangerous work as a journalist and spy, to say nothing of her work on behalf of prisoners, her two arrests, and her eventual ten-month-long imprisonment, including in the infamous Lubyanka prison. It is a veritable encyclopedia of life in Russia in the early 1920s.

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