• Ayesha Dhurue

The Complete Short Novels of Anton Chekov

No other literary quote would be apter than Francis Bacon’s where he dove right into the heart of why reading is an intimate and solitary experience.

“Read not to contradict and confute, nor to believe and take for granted, nor to find talk and discourse, but to weigh and consider.”

I’ve never read a writer like Anton Chekhov. His words are heavy, confessional, and intense. His stories – The Duel, The Story of an Unknown Man, My Life – are existentially descriptive. His literary style is an epitaph written in bold colors; acquiescing an existence so enveloped in its own awareness and the whereabouts of nature, society, and familiar relationships. A constant reminder that the self is more than its own reflection. Chekhov has built up these thematic foundations through which he creates conflicting stories. The battle between the self’s agreeable and disagreeable side is always crossing swords. After having read him, it’s hard for me to gather the depth and essence of literature without including Chekhov’s contemplative contribution. He discovers his characters as you read them. And yet, their values, personalities, and predispositions serve a higher purpose than just for the joy of reading. In every page lies the triumph of human thought. In every story lies the most timeless and evocative gathering of enigmas. It’s not a story about an unknown man, it’s the living and drawing out of his obscurity, his fortitude. And that, even in the simplest of ways, is hard to confess. There is no stone that Chekhov doesn’t want you to look under. Every passing cloud he permits you to canvass. Every leaf on a tree he would concede. Only for you to understand the deep anguish of his characters. And whether or not you drop safely ashore to contemplate his emotional and intellectual yearnings is an anomaly.