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

Woe From Wit (bilingual)

Woe From Wit (bilingual)

One of the most famous works of Russian literature, the four-act comedy in verse Woe from Wit skewers staid, nineteenth century Russian society, and it positively teems with “winged phrases” that are essential colloquialisms for students of Russian and Russian culture.
Faith & Humor: Notes from Muscovy

Faith & Humor: Notes from Muscovy

A book that dares to explore the humanity of priests and pilgrims, saints and sinners, Faith & Humor has been both a runaway bestseller in Russia and the focus of heated controversy – as often happens when a thoughtful writer takes on sacred cows. The stories, aphorisms, anecdotes, dialogues and adventures in this volume comprise an encyclopedia of modern Russian Orthodoxy, and thereby of Russian life.
22 Russian Crosswords

22 Russian Crosswords

Test your knowledge of the Russian language, Russian history and society with these 22 challenging puzzles taken from the pages of Russian Life magazine. Most all the clues are in English, but you must fill in the answers in Russian. If you get stumped, of course all the puzzles have answers printed at the back of the book.
Stargorod: A Novel in Many Voices

Stargorod: A Novel in Many Voices

Stargorod is a mid-sized provincial city that exists only in Russian metaphorical space. It has its roots in Gogol, and Ilf and Petrov, and is a place far from Moscow, but close to Russian hearts. It is a place of mystery and normality, of provincial innocence and Black Earth wisdom. Strange, inexplicable things happen in Stargorod. So do good things. And bad things. A lot like life everywhere, one might say. Only with a heavy dose of vodka, longing and mystery.
The Little Golden Calf

The Little Golden Calf

Our edition of The Little Golden Calf, one of the greatest Russian satires ever, is the first new translation of this classic novel in nearly fifty years. It is also the first unabridged, uncensored English translation ever, and is 100% true to the original 1931 serial publication in the Russian journal 30 Dnei. Anne O. Fisher’s translation is copiously annotated, and includes an introduction by Alexandra Ilf, the daughter of one of the book’s two co-authors.
Fearful Majesty

Fearful Majesty

This acclaimed biography of one of Russia’s most important and tyrannical rulers is not only a rich, readable biography, it is also surprisingly timely, revealing how many of the issues Russia faces today have their roots in Ivan’s reign.
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. 
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.
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.
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.

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Russian Life is a publication of a 30-year-young, award-winning publishing house that creates a bimonthly magazine, books, maps, and other products for Russophiles the world over.

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