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Thread: About Love

  1. #1
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    About Love

    About Love is seriously neglected when it comes to simple discussion and literary criticism.

    If someone would kindly enlighten me as to why Chekhov's other stories take precedent over and above About Love? I know so little about About Love and would like more insight into the characters and shape of this much-ignored short story.

    Mostly I am coming to know the characters through Gooseberries and The Man in A Case. I believe Gooseberries is the first story and The Man in A Case is the second story with About Love completing the little Trilogy, is this correct?

    Meanwhile it's great to see so many like-minded persons interested in Chekhov. I hope you will welcome and bear with me while I learn. I am indeed falling in love with Chekhov's work.

    Regards.
    Last edited by Kalavorakh; 05-26-2009 at 01:44 AM.

  2. #2
    Of Subatomic Importance Quark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kalavorakh View Post
    About Love is seriously neglected when it comes to simple discussion and literary criticism.
    I think Chekhov in general is seriously neglected, but "About Love" particularly. It's odd, though, there really isn't a set Chekhov canon. Anthologies seem to be just guessing when they assemble a list of works, and stories that I've never even heard of take the place of the great ones like "About Love," "Sleepy," or "Rothschild's Fiddle." Someone mentioned to me that the Signet Classic collection has these stories:

    The Confession
    He Understood
    At Sea
    A Nincompoop
    Surgery
    Ninochka
    A Cure for Drinking
    The Jailer Jailed
    The Dance Pianist
    The Milksop
    Marriage in Ten or Fifteen Years
    In Spring
    Agafya
    The Kiss
    The Father
    In Exile
    Three Years
    The House with the Mansard
    Peasants
    The Darling

    There are some really strange choices here. Some are certainly good, but "The Dance Pianist" and "The Milksop" are not exactly his best. Amongst these collections it's hard to figure out exactly which stories people think are the best since the selection is so random. As for criticism, it's even more uncertain since the criticism on Chekhov has declined since the 50's and 60's when Chekhov was quite popular for academics. There isn't terribly much being written about him today from what I read, and what there is only gives the faintest outline of a Chekhov canon.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kalavorakh View Post
    If someone would kindly enlighten me as to why Chekhov's other stories take precedent over and above About Love?
    I probably can't enlighten, but I can guess. One possible reason could be that the story was simply misinterpreted. Critics might have accepted the narrator's interpretation of his own story as a warning about missed opportunities. They might not have picked up on the uncertainty of this moral, and dismissed the story as simplistic. There was some discussion about this on Lit Net:

    http://www.online-literature.com/for...=17728&page=16

    Quote Originally Posted by Kalavorakh View Post
    Mostly I am coming to know the characters through Gooseberries and The Man in A Case. I believe Gooseberries is the first story and The Man in A Case is the second story with About Love completing the little Trilogy, is this correct?
    I think "The Man in a Case" is actually first. It's been a while since I read the trilogy, though, so I could be wrong.
    "Par instants je suis le Pauvre Navire
    [...] Par instants je meurs la mort du Pecheur
    [...] O mais! par instants"

    --"Birds in the Night" by Paul Verlaine (1844-1896). Join the discussion here: http://www.online-literature.com/for...5&goto=newpost

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