Anton Chekhov’s Stories and Plays


Konstantin Stanislavski as Astrov in Uncle Vanya, 1899

“As readers of imaginative literature, we are always seeking clues, warnings: where in life to search more assiduously; what not to overlook; what’s the origin of this sort of human calamity, that sort of joy and pleasure. . . . And to such seekers as we are, Chekhov is guide, perhaps the guide. “

 —novelist Richard Ford

In his plays— and especially in his deceptively-simple short stories—Anton Chekhov surveyed the inner workings of the human psyche with an emotional and psychological precision matched by few others. His understated and incredibly economical style revolutionized the short story.  An insightful blog writer hits upon Chekhov’s essence:

“(Chekhov) ingeniously captures the anguish of the human soul, the clash between what the heart wants and what the heart needs, and the controversies that shape our everyday life. . . The magic of Chekhov’s short stories is that seemingly they are mostly about nothing. Trivial situations, ordinary people, banal feelings. But if you let character, observation, and mood into your heart, you will definitely see that almost no other author has captured so deeply the happiness, joy, suffering, and love of the human being with so much detail, sympathy, and pity. Because even though Chekhov laughs at his characters, we can still feel he is not a judge of human imperfections; he understands, accepts, and forgives.”

Our study will read closely six short stories and two plays by this most psychologically astute and humane of writers.


  • Six meeting study
  • Recommended editions:
    • Stories of Anton Chekhov, translated by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsy; Modern Library/Bantam/Bravo Ltd (2000); ISBN-13: 978-0553381009
    • Anton Chekhov’s Selected Plays (Norton Critical Edition); translated and edited by Laurence Selenick; 2nd Revised edition, W.W. Norton, 2005; ISBN 13: 978-0393924657

If you would like to request this study or have any questions about it, please contact us.



Posted on

May 19, 2019