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Translated by Constance Garnett УДК 372.8 ББК 84(2Рос=Рус) 81.2 Англ Ч 56 Чехов А. П. Ч 56 Дама с собачкой и другие рассказы: пер. с рус. К. Гарнетт. — СПб.: КАРО, 2014. — 256 с.: — (Русская классическая литература на иностранных языках). ISBN 978-5-9925-0980-9. Вашему вниманию предлагаются переводы наиболее известных рассказов, относящихся к позднему периоду творчества А. П. Чехова. Чехов следует принципу художественной объективности и не прописывает рецептов нравственного совершенствования и общественного переустройства. Мастер тонкого психологического анализа, он видит, что его герои страдают по причине житейских ошибок, дурных поступков и нравственной и умственной апатии. Английский перевод рассказов, выполненный Констанс Гарнетт, снабжен постраничными, в большей степени культурологическими, комментариями. Книга адресована студентам языковых вузов, носителям языка и всем любителям русской классической литературы. УДК 372.8 ББК 81.2 Англ © КАРО, 2014 ISBN 978-5-9925-0980-9 THE LADY WITH THE DOG AND OTHER STORIES by Anton Chekhov Translated by Constance Garnett In this collection are some of the most well-known stories of Anton Chekhov’s later period (1892–1898) which depict various issues of both personal and contemporary social problems. They provide a deep insight into various aspects of the human condition, including woe, desire, and hope. The stories also examine the problems with Russian society and society in general. The power of Chekhov’s prose provokes thoughts and ideas that are just as relevant now as they were then. The English translation of the short stories made by Constance Garnett is complemented with footnotes. The book may be of interest to the University or College students who study English, the native English speakers and everyone who admires Russian Classic Literature. The Life and Works of Anton Chekhov The famous writer and dramatist Anton Pavlovich Chekhov was born in 1869 in Taganrog. The writer’s family descends from the serf peasants, though his father was a merchant. Chekhov attended the Greek school and later the Taganrog classical gymnasium. It was then that he started writing his first literary works which we now only know by their names. In 1879 Chekhov moved to Moscow where he entered the Medical Faculty of the Moscow University. In 1880 he published his first parodic short story “A Letter to the Learned Neighbor.” From 1880 to 1884 Chekhov endeavored to write in comic and serious genres at the same time. Chekhov’s comic and satirical sketches were based on amusing or ridiculous incidents, curious or funny true-life stories. His early works were published in newspapers under various pseudonyms — Antosha Chekhontey, The Man without a Spleen, Brother of my brother, Ulysses, etc. In 1885 he wrote such well-known works as “A Horsey Surname,” “Misery,” “Vanka,” etc. Many of these new 4 stories combined ridiculous and tragic, irony and CHEKHOV sympathy for the characters. The stories were then published in collections. Since 1886 the writer began to publish his stories ANTON under his real name. The new stories (“The Witch,” “Agafya,” “The Teacher,” etc.) were even more mature and meaningful. From 1884 to 1888 Chekhov created more OF than 350 works displaying vast variety of images, charactWORKS and subjects of Russian life. The type of Chekhov’s hero was finally defined: “the average person” with their everyday, ordinary life. AND In 1888 Chekhov wrote only 9 stories. A new feature which became significant for many of the later works LIFE appeared in this period: representation of life rose to be a generalization, a symbol. Chekhov tried to express the THE following idea: “Russian life beats the Russian to a pulp, pounds him like a thousand-pood stone... There is so much space that the tiny individual does not have the strength to get his bearings.” This idea is reflected in the works of the late 80’s: “The Steppe,” “Fires,” “The Trouble,” etc. The characters try “to resolve the issue,” to find reference points to understand and accept the life; all of them feel helpless in the odd and incomprehensible world. In 1890 Chekhov went to Siberia, and then to Sakhalin where the penal colonies were situated. He had collected a large number of documentary materials about life of the Sakhalin convicts and locals and upon returning to Moscow wrote the book “The Sakhalin 5 Island” (1893–1894), which caused a huge resonance in CHEKHOV Russia. This trip had worsened Chekhov’s health considerably — he was diagnosed with tuberculosis. Therefore ANTON in 1892 Chekhov bought the Melikhovo manor near Moscow. He helped local peasants as doctor and built schools for country children. In his later, “melikhovsky,” OF period Chekhov wrote among others his famous short WORKS stories “Ward No. 6,” “The Man in a Case,” “The Case from the Practice,” etc., and the plays “The Seagull” and “Uncle Vanya.” AND In 1897 Chekhov`s illness sharply aggravated again, and he had to be hospitalized. The doctors insisted on LIFE his moving to the south. In 1898 Chekhov sold The Melikhovo manor and moved to Yalta. THE In Yalta Chekhov wrote the play “Three Sisters” (1900) for the Moscow Art Theatre. It was staged in 1901. In this play there is no common plot, the style is defined by the nature of the dialogues which show disrupted relations between people and remind the “conversations of the deaf.” In 1903 he had written the play “The Cherry Orchard” for the Moscow Art Theatre again and it was staged in 1904. The main feature of this work is Chekhov’s unique symbolism. The protagonist is not a character, but an image of the cherry orchard representing the noble Russia and the old life foundations. Chekhov’s illness amplified so that in May of 1904 he went to Badenweiler, a well-known resort in south Germany, and died there. 6 *** CHEKHOV The stories of Anton Chekhov’s later period examine the problems with Russian society and society in general. In this collection are stories which provide a deep insight ANTON into various aspects of the human condition, including woe, desire, and hope. The theme of “The Lady with the Dog” (1898) is a rare OF and true love. In it, a chance meeting turns into a WORKS passionate love affair, revealing to the protagonist a rich inner life he himself did not know he had. Despite various obstacles, the two attempt to realize happiness AND with each other. In “The Grasshopper” (1892), the main characters LIFE are the social and philandering Olga Ivanovna and her husband, the humble and scientifically driven Dr. Dymov. THE Her utter disrespect of and unfaithfulness to her husband and his unceasing humility and kindness provide a stark contrast between the two. “Ward No. 6” (1892) takes every possible psychological ailment in Russia at the time and puts it in the ward of a mental hospital. Not only does it include a remarkable cast of characters, but it also incorporates a dialogue between the sane and the insane, the highly revered and the complete outcasts. It reveals the problems in the structure of the prisonlike institution and shatters the barrier between doctor and patient. In “The House with the Mezzanine” (1896) an artist begins to frequent the estate of a wealthy family. Through the narrator’s conversations with the two daughters, the 7 author focuses on both love and the needs of the CHEKHOV common people. Through the eyes of the four different members of the nobility, the story examines the roles of art, education, and labor. ANTON The caricature of a Classics teacher comes alive in “The Man in a Case” (1898) through Byelikov. He attempts to shield himself from reality as it poses a threat OF to his ideally crafted system of beliefs. Justifying himself WORKS through mild criticisms, he creates a world to his liking. Although he is able to do so initially, the story watches his barriers fall. AND “Gooseberries” (1898) depicts a main character with the sole life goal of owning an estate with gooseberry LIFE bushes. He makes sacrifices in every possible way, many of them painstaking, in order to achieve his goal. THE Blinding himself to everything else, he shows the results of a single focus consuming him. The stories in this collection depict various issues of both personal and contemporary social problems. Chekhov’s insight into the plight of the human condition and the power of his prose provokes thoughts and ideas that are just as relevant now as they were then. THE LADY WITH THE DOG I It was reported that a new face had been seen on the quay; a lady with a little dog. Dmitri Dmitrich 1 Gurov, who had been a fortnight at Yalta and had got used to it, had begun to show an interest in new 2 faces. As he sat in the pavilion at Verné’s he saw a young lady, blond and fairly tall, and wearing a broad-brimmed hat, passed along the quay. After 3 her ran a white Pomeranian . Later he saw her in the park and in the square several times a day. She walked by herself, always in the same broad-brimmed hat, and with this white dog. Nobody knew who she was, and she was called the lady with the dog. 1 Yalta — a resort town on the north coast of the Black Sea on the Crimean Peninsula. 2 Verné’s — an actual french chocolate house in Yalta. 3 Pomeranian — a dog breed of the Spitz type named after the Pomerania region to the south of the Baltic Sea. 9 “If,” thought Gurov, “if she is here without a STORIES husband or a friend, it would be well to make her acquaintance.” He was not yet forty, but he had a daughter of OTHER twelve and two boys at school. He had married young, in his second year at the University, and now AND his wife seemed half as old again as himself. She was a tall woman, with dark eyebrows, erect, grave, DOG stolid, and she thought herself an intellectual woman. She read a great deal, called her husband THE not Dmitri, but Demitri, and in his private mind he WITH thought her short-witted, narrow-minded, and ungracious. He was afraid of her and disliked LADY evenings. He had begun to betray her with other women long ago, betrayed her frequently, and, THE probably for that reason nearly always spoke ill of women, and when they were discussed in his presence he would maintain that they were an inferior race. It seemed to him that his experience was bitter enough to give him the right to call them any name he liked, but he could not live a couple of days without the “inferior race.” With men he was bored and ill at ease, cold and unable to talk, but when he was with women, he felt easy and knew what to talk about, and how to behave, and even when he was silent with them he felt quite comfortable. In his appearance as in his character, indeed in his whole 10 1 THE GRASSHOPPER I All Olga Ivanovna’s friends and acquaintances were at her wedding. “Look at him; isn’t it true that there is something in him?” she said to her friends, with a nod towards her husband, as though she wanted to explain why she was marrying a simple, very ordinary, and in no way remarkable man. Her husband, Osip Stepanich Dymov, was a 2 doctor, and only of the rank of a titular councillor . He was on the staff of two hospitals: in one a wardsurgeon and in the other a dissecting demonstrator. Every day from nine to twelve he saw patients and was busy in his ward, and after twelve o’clock he went by tram to the other hospital, where he 1 The Grasshopper — the name of this story is best translated as “The Fidget”. 2 Titular councillor — a civil rank of the 9th class in the Russian Empire. The 14th class was the lowest and the 1st class the highest in the Table of Ranks. This system had been introduced by the Emperor Peter the Great and existed from 1722 till 1917. 38 dissected. His private practice was a small one, not GRASSHOPPER worth more than five hundred rubles a year. That was all. What more could one say about him? Meanwhile, Olga Ivanovna and her friends and acquaintances were not quite ordinary people. Every one of them was remarkable in some way, and THE more or less famous; already had made a reputation and was looked upon as a celebrity; or if not yet a celebrity, gave brilliant promise of becoming one. There was an actor from the Dramatic Theatre, who was a great talent of established reputation, as well as an elegant, intelligent, and modest man, and a capital elocutionist, who taught Olga Ivanovna to recite; there was a singer from the opera, a goodnatured, fat man who assured Olga Ivanovna, with a sigh, that she was ruining herself, that if she would take herself in hand and not be lazy she might make a remarkable singer; then there were several artists, and chief among them Ryabovsky, a very handsome, fair young man of five-and-twenty who painted genre pieces, animal studies, and landscapes, was successful at exhibitions, and had sold his last picture for five hundred rubles. He touched up Olga Ivanovna’s sketches, and used to say she might do something. Then a violoncellist, whose instrument used to sob, and who openly declared that of all the ladies of his acquaintance the only one who could accompany him was Olga Ivanovna; then there was 39 WARD NO. 6 I In the hospital yard there stands a small lodge surrounded by a perfect forest of burdocks, nettles, and wild hemp. Its roof is rusty, the chimney is tumbling down, the steps at the front-door are rotting away and overgrown with grass, and there are only traces left of the stucco. The front of the lodge faces the hospital; at the back it looks out into the open country, from which it is separated by the grey hospital fence with nails on it. These nails, with their points upwards, and the fence, and the lodge itself, have that peculiar, desolate, God-forsaken look which is only found in our hospital and prison buildings. If you are not afraid of being stung by the nettles, come by the narrow footpath that leads to the lodge, and let us see what is going on inside. Opening the first door, we walk into the entry. Here, along the walls and by the stove, every sort of hospital rubbish lies littered about. Mattresses, 83 old tattered dressing-gowns, trousers, blue striped STORIES shirts, boots and shoes no good for anything — all these remnants are piled up in heaps, mixed up and crumpled, mouldering and giving out a sickly smell. OTHER The porter, Nikita, an old soldier wearing rusty good-conduct stripes, is always lying on the litter AND with a pipe between his teeth. He has a grim, surly, battered-looking face, overhanging eyebrows, which DOG give him the expression of a sheep-dog of the steppes, and a red nose; he is short and looks thin THE and scraggy, but he is of imposing deportment and WITH his fists are vigorous. He belongs to the class of simple-hearted, practical, and dull-witted people, LADY prompt in carrying out orders, who like discipline better than anything in the world, and so are THE convinced that it is their duty to beat them. He showers blows on the face, on the chest, on the back, on whatever comes first, and is convinced that there would be no order in the place if he did not. Next you come into a big, spacious room which fills up the whole lodge except for the entry. Here the walls are painted a dirty blue, the ceiling is as sooty as in a hut without a chimney — it is evident that in the winter the stove smokes and the room is full of fumes. The windows are disfigured by iron gratings on the inside. The wooden floor is grey and full of splinters. There is a stench of sour cabbage, of smouldering wicks, of bugs, and of ammonia, 84 THE HOUSE WITH THE MEZZANINE (A PAINTER’S STORY) I It happened nigh on seven years ago, when I was living in one of the districts of the T. province, on the estate of Bielokurov, a landowner, a young man who used to get up early, dress himself in a long overcoat, drink beer in the evenings, and all the while complain to me that he could nowhere find any one in sympathy with his ideas. He lived in a little house in the orchard, and I lived in the old manor-house, in a huge pillared hall where there was no furniture except a large divan, on which I slept, and a table at which I used to play patience. Even in calm weather there was always a moaning in the chimney, and in a storm the whole house would rock and seem as though it must split, and it was quite terrifying, especially at night, when all the ten great windows were suddenly lit up by a flash of lightning. 180 Doomed by fate to permanent idleness, I did MEZZANINE positively nothing. For hours together I would sit and look through the windows at the sky, the birds, the trees and read my letters over and over again, and then for hours together I would sleep. SomeTHE I would go out and wander aimlessly until evening. WITH Once, on my way home, I came unexpectedly on a strange farmhouse. The sun was already setting, HOUSE and the lengthening shadows were thrown over the ripening corn. Two rows of closely planted tall firTHE stood like two thick walls, forming a sombre, magnificent avenue. I climbed the fence and walked up the avenue, slipping on the fir needles which lay two inches thick on the ground. It was still, dark, and only here and there in the tops of the trees shimmered a bright gold light casting the colours of the rainbow on a spider’s web. The smell of the firs was almost suffocating. Then I turned into an avenue of limes. And here too were desolation and decay; the dead leaves rustled mournfully beneath my feet, and there were lurking shadows among the trees. To the right, in an old orchard, a goldhammer sang a faint reluctant song, and he too must have been old. The lime-trees soon came to an end and I came to a white house with a terrace and a mezzanine, and suddenly a vista opened upon a farmyard with a pond and a bathing-shed, and a row of green 181 THE MAN IN A CASE At the furthest end of the village of Mironositskoe some belated sportsmen lodged for the night in the elder Prokofy’s barn. There were two of them, the veterinary surgeon Ivan Ivanovitch and the schoolmaster Burkin. Ivan Ivanovitch had a rather strange double-barrelled surname — Tchimsha-Himalaisky — which did not suit him at all, and he was called simply Ivan Ivanovitch all over the province. He lived at a stud-farm near the town, and had come out shooting now to get a breath of fresh air. Burkin, the high-school teacher, stayed every summer at Count P.’s, and had been thoroughly evening in this district for years. They did not sleep. Ivan Ivanovitch, a tall, lean old fellow with long moustaches, was sitting outside the door, smoking a pipe in the moonlight. Burkin was lying within on the hay, and could not be seen in the darkness. They were telling each other all sorts of stories. Among other things, they spoke of the fact that the 211 elder’s wife, Mavra, a healthy and by no means STORIES stupid woman, had never been beyond her native village, had never seen a town nor a railway in her life, and had spent the last ten years sitting behind OTHER the stove, and only at night going out into the street. AND “What is there wonderful in that!” said Burkin. “There are plenty of people in the world, solitary by DOG temperament, who try to retreat into their shell like a hermit crab or a snail. Perhaps it is an instance of THE atavism, a return to the period when the ancestor WITH of man was not yet a social animal and lived alone in his den, or perhaps it is only one of the diversities LADY of human character — who knows? I am not a natural science man and it is not my business to THE settle such questions; I only mean to say that people like Mavra are not uncommon. There is no need to look far; two months ago a man called Byelikov, a colleague of mine, the Greek master, died in our town. You have heard of him, no doubt. He was remarkable for always wearing galoshes and a warm wadded coat, and carrying an umbrella even in the very finest weather. And his umbrella was in a case, and his watch was in a case made of grey chamois leather, and when he took out his penknife to sharpen his pencil, his penknife, too, was in a little case; and his face seemed to be in a case too, because he always hid it in his turned-up collar. He wore 212 GOOSEBERRIES From early morning the sky had been overcast with clouds; the day was still, cool, and wearisome, as usual on grey, dull days when the clouds hang low over the fields and it looks like rain, which never comes. Ivan Ivanich, the veterinary surgeon, and Burkin, the schoolmaster, were tired of walking and the fields seemed endless to them. Far ahead they could just see the windmills of the village of Mironositskoye, to the right stretched away to disappear behind the village a line of hills, and they knew that it was the bank of the river; meadows, green willows, farmhouses; and from one of the hills there could be seen a field as endless, telegraphposts, and the train, looking from a distance like a crawling caterpillar, and in clear weather even the town. In the calm weather when all nature seemed gentle and melancholy, Ivan Ivanich and Burkin were filled with love for the fields and thought how grand and beautiful the country was. “Last time, when we stopped in Prokofy’s shed,” said Burkin, “you were going to tell me a story.” 234 “Yes. I wanted to tell you about my brother.” GOOSEBERRIES Ivan Ivanich took a deep breath and lighted his pipe before beginning his story, but just then the rain began to fall. And in about five minutes it came pelting down and showed no signs of stopping. Ivan Ivanich stopped and hesitated; the dogs, wet through, stood with their tails between their legs and looked at them mournfully. “We ought to take shelter,” said Burkin. “Let us go to Aliokhin. It is close by.” “Very well.” They took a short cut over a stubble-field and then bore to the right, until they came to the road. Soon there appeared poplars, a garden, the red roofs of granaries; the river began to glimmer and they came to a wide road with a mill and a white bathingshed. It was Sophino, where Aliokhin lived. The mill was working, drowning the sound of the rain, and the dam shook. Round the carts stood wet horses, hanging their heads, and men were walking about with their heads covered with sacks. It was wet, muddy, and unpleasant, and the river looked cold and sullen. Ivan Ivanich and Burkin felt wet and uncomfortable through and through; their feet were tired with walking in the mud, and they walked past the dam to the barn in silence as though they were angry with each other. 235