A collection of great and beloved works of Russian literature from classic novels to masterly stories, including translations by award winners Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky, in beautiful, enduring hardcover editions with elegant cloth sewn bindings, gold stamped covers, and silk ribbon markers. Titles included: Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky The Collected Stories by Alexander Pushkin The Complete Short Novels by Anton Chekhov Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky Dead Souls by Nikolai Gogol A Sportsman's Notebook by Ivan Turgenev.
About the Author
Anton Pavlovich Chekhov (1860-1904) was a Russian playwright and short story writer who is considered to be among the greatest writers of short fiction in history. His career as a playwright produced four classics, and his best short stories are held in high esteem by writers and critics. Along with Henrik Ibsen and August Strindberg, Chekhov is often referred to as one of the three seminal figures in the birth of early modernism in the theater. Chekhov practiced as a medical doctor throughout most of his literary career: "Medicine is my lawful wife," he once said, "and literature is my mistress." Chekhov renounced the theatre after the disastrous reception of The Seagull in 1896, but the play was revived to acclaim in 1898 by Constantin Stanislavski's Moscow Art Theatre, which subsequently also produced Chekhov's Uncle Vanya and premiered his last two plays, Three Sisters and The Cherry Orchard. These four works present a challenge to the acting ensemble as well as to audiences, because in place of conventional action Chekhov offers a "theatre of mood" and a "submerged life in the text." Chekhov had at first written stories only for financial gain, but as his artistic ambition grew, he made formal innovations which have influenced the evolution of the modern short story. He made no apologies for the difficulties this posed to readers, insisting that the role of an artist was to ask questions, not to answer them. Anton Chekhov was the author of hundreds of short stories and several plays and is regarded by many as both the greatest Russian storyteller and the father of modern drama. Fyodor Mikailovich Dostoevsky's life was as dark and dramatic as the great novels he wrote. He was born in Moscow in 1821. A short first novel, Poor Folk (1846), brought him instant success, but his writing career was cut short by his arrest for alleged subversion against Tsar Nicholas I in 1849. His prison experiences coupled with his conversion to a profoundly religious philosophy formed the basis for his great novels. But it was his fortuitous marriage to Anna Snitkina, following a period of utter destitution brought about by his compulsive gambling, that gave Dostoevsky the emotional stability to complete Crime and Punishment (1866), The Idiot (1868-1869), The Possessed (1871-1872), and The Brothers Karamazov (1879-1880). When Dostoevsky died in 1881, he left a legacy of masterworks that influenced the great thinkers and writers of the Western world and immortalized him as a giant among writers of world literature. Nikolai Vasilevich Gogol was born in 1809; his family belonged to a minor gentry of Ukrainian Cossack extraction, and his father was the author of a number of plays based on Ukrainian popular tales. He attended school in Nezhin and gained a reputation for his theatrical abilities. He went to St. Petersburg in 1829 and with the help of a friend gained a post in one of the government ministries. Gogol was introduced to Zhukovsky, the romantic poet, and to Pushkin, and with the publication of Evenings on a Farm near Dikanka (1831) he had an entree to all the leading literary salons. He even managed for a short period to be a professor of history at the University of St. Petersburg (1834-1835). Alexander Pushkin (1799-1837) was a poet, playwright, and novelist who achieved literary prominence before he was twenty. His radical politics led to government censorship and periods of banishment from the capital, but he eventually married a popular society beauty and became a regular part of court life. Notoriously touchy about his honor, he died at age thirty-seven in a duel with his wife's alleged lover.