Peasants and Other Stories Author:Anton Chekhov, Edmund Wilson (Translator) Toward the end of his career -- when he was at work on his major plays -- Checkov undertook to write what Edmund Wilson in his preface calls "a miniature Comédie Humaine," an anatomy of Russian society at the end of the nineteenth century. This project took the form of a sequence of stories, each dealing with a different aspect of Russian social... more » life -- the peasants, the clergy, the tradesmen, the professional class -- as the old order was breaking up under pressures that were ultimately to produce the revolution.
Previous collections of Chekhov's stories have never separated this crucial sequence from the rest of Chekhov's work, so that readers up to now have never been aware of it in the form the Chekhov intended. As a result they have missed one of the great achievements of Chekhov's career. This volume, which includes Mr. Wilson's new translation of a heretofore unknown chapter of "Peasants," gives the stories in the order which Chekhov intended.« less