Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky on their selections:
Chekhov's story "The Beggar" was written in 1887, when Chekhov was 27. This was the moment in his life when he was turning from his early comic sketches to something a bit more serious. But the comedy is still there, of course. We chose it because it is essentially a dialogue between a successful, well-off lawyer and a ne'er-do-well. It has a delightful surprise ending.
For our second text, we've chosen two passages from "The Pearl Necklace" by Nikolai Leskov. Leskov is one of the great masters of Russian storytelling, from the generation between Tolstoy/Dostoevsky and Chekhov. In fact, Chekhov was introduced to him in Moscow in 1883, and they got along well, though Leskov could be difficult. Chekhov has even been called Leskov's successor.
Again, we've chosen passages that are dialogues—this time, even more appropriately, between a husband and wife.
Fifty-Two Stories at IndieBound
The Enchanted Wanderer at IndieBound
Intro and outro from "Shift of Currents" by Blue Dot Sessions // CC BY-NC 2.0
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