Wednesday, July 26, 2017


Notes on Chekhov’s “Little Trilogy” INFLUENCES

“Man in a Case,” “Gooseberries,” “About Love.” Anton Chekhov wrote his three stories, what later came to be called The Little Trilogy, in 1898. I’m not sure whether there were any commemorations of his feat in 1998, but there should have been public readings all over Russia and all over the world. That’s how good these stories are. If the world survives for another hundred years, in 2098 they will still be good.

Practically any writer of short stories in the world has been influenced by Chekhov’s stories. The way they are realistic bits and pieces of life, the way not much happens in them, the way the mood and subtleties of tone predominate.

So people try to write like Chekhov and, in large part, fail. That’s one reason that practically any issue of The New Yorker and any issue of the top American literary journals is full of bad stories.

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