Anton Chekhov About Truth, Freedom and Love
Short Stories by Anton Chekhov Bk.3: AboutTruth, Freedom and Love
The third audio book in the series of Chekhov’s Short Stories featuring a trilogy of interlinked stories about Truth, Freedom and Love. Read by Max Bollinger in English (unabridged). First published in 1898 in Russian and released as separate stories. This title, based on translations by Constance Garnett with revision and adaptation by Max Bollinger follows Chekhov’s original vision by bringing the three stories together once again.
Stories in This Audio Trilogy
01 About Truth
02 About Freedom
03 About Love
Chekhov dedicated considerable amount of time writing the 3 stories in this trilogy and was very particular about his intention to release them as once piece. This is evident from his correspondence with his publisher. But his wishes were ignored during his lifetime and the first story had been published separately. The story received colossal amount of attention from both professional critics and general public and resonated so strongly that readers were compelled to write long letters to Chekhov (in some cases over 20 pages in length) praising him for being so truthful, for enlightening and reflecting the reality of their lives. Many prominent critics of the time such as Lyatsky attacked Chekhov for attempting to generalise “life in a bubble” which he claimed was more of a pathological exception than a rule. Lyatsky also accused Chekhov of only showing the dreadful sides of life and never providing the reader with an answer of how to improve it.
Leo Tolstoy disagreed with Lyatsky after reading the second story. “Happiness does not exist and should not exist. And if there is purpose in life, this purpose should not be our personal happiness, it should be about something more intelligent, something more divine”, from Tolstoy’s letter to Gusev (1910).
The third story, About Love, concludes the trilogy, but Chekhov’s initial thoughts were to produce another sequel. The forth story never materialised however. The relationship described in the third story was based on Chekhov’s own relationship with Miss Avilova who upon publication of this story compared Chekhov with “busy bee who flies about and is happy to collect honey from just about anything on its way”. Chekhov quickly responded to Miss Avilova,”You are being unkind towards your busy bee. The bee first sees bright beautiful flowers and only then collects honey from them”.
After publication of all stories in this trilogy, even most unflattering critics of Chekhov agreed that these 3 stories represented a significant milestone in Chehov’s personal development as a serious writer. They all noted that the tone of these stories was less frivolous in comparison to his earlier work. Regarding Chekhov’s About Love, Mikhailovsky wrote that Chekhov was touching upon most significant and important questions of human life with such skill, depth and emotion that “Chekhov in lifting us to the sky, is showing us a third dimension, so to speak”.
Nevertheless, Bogdanovich, another critic of the time, found yet more reasons to criticise Chekhov. This time it was for allowing Chekhov’s personal voice to speak through his characters and for Chekhov’s own guiding light shining and showing readers the way.
Such fierce and often unfair criticism no doubt played its part in contributing towards Chekhov’s poor health. In his letters he described that he simply could not write anymore. He moved to the sunny shores of Black Sea and only after a long pause started to write again giving us such treasures as Cherry Orchard, Uncle Vanya and The Seagull and many other wonderful novels and stories.
About The Author
Anton Pavlovich Chekhov (Антон Павлович Чехов) 1860 – 1904 was a Russian short story writer, playwright and physician, considered to be one of the greatest short story writers in the history of world literature. His career as a dramatist produced all-time classics The Seagull, Uncle Vanya, Three Sisters and Cherry Orchard. His short stories are held in high esteem by writers, critics and audiences of all generations.
About The Composer
Antonin Dvorak 1841 – 1904, a Czech composer of Romantic music, who used elements of the folk music of Moravia and his native Bohemia. His works include operas, symphonic, choral and chamber music. His best-known works include his New World Symphony, the Slavonic Dances, “American” String Quartet, and Cello Concerto in B minor. Dvorak’s symphonic poems are among his most original symphonic works. Audio book adaptation of Chekhov’s Trilogy about Truth, Freedom and Love produced by Max Bollinger includes music themes based on Dvorak’s Slavonic Daces composition.