Anton Chekhov (1860 to 1904) is a near consensus pick for greatest short story writer of all time. "The Lady with the Little Dog" is often listed as among the very greatest of all short stories. (There is additional background on Chekhov in my prior posts on his work.). He has as good a claim as any one to the title of greatest short story writer of all time.
"The Lady and With the Little Dog" is set in a sea side resort town where Moscovites go to get away for a while. A married man is there, he has had numerous affairs. He spots a woman by herself but for her dog, something like a Pomeranian. He approaches her in a practiced fashion and slowly a relationship develops. The woman is also married, her husband is a civil servant and is back in Moscow. Chekhov does a marvelous job of letting us see the predatory technique the man employs to seduce the woman. We see their relationship develop in masterful minimalist strokes. There is great depth of characterization in the few pages of this story.
The Garnett translation of this story is in the public domain and can easily be found online.
Here are some Quotations from the works of Chekhov which I would like to share:
चेखव के जन्म दिवस पर उनके कुछ उद्धरण
"Many of them have nice dreams of how pleasant life will be in two hundred years it occurs to none of them to ask themselves who will make life pleasant if we only dream?"
"In front of that dreary, gray crowd of helpless people there passed a great, wise, and observant man; he looked at all these dreary inhabitants of his country, and, with a sad smile, with a tone of gentle but deep reproach, with anguish in his face and in his heart, in a beautiful and sincere voice, he said to them: "You live badly, my friends. It is shameful to live like that."
* Written by Gorky in the memories of Chekhov
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