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"Ward No. 6" and Other Stories, 1892-1895
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These stories from the middle period of Chekhov's career show him exploring complex, ambiguous and often extreme emotions. Influenced by his own experiences as a doctor, "Ward No. 6", set in a mental hospital, is a savage indictment of the medical profession. "The Black Monk", portraying an academic who has strange hallucinations, explores ideas of genius and insanity; in "Murder", religious fervour leads to violence; while in "The Student", Chekhov's favourite story, a young man recounts a tale from the gospels and undergoes a spiritual epiphany. In all the stories collected here, Chekhov's characters face madness, alienation and frustration before they experience brief, ephemeral moments of insight, often earned at great cost, where they confront the reality of their existence.
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About the Author

Anton Chekhov (1860-1904) was a Russian physician and writer of short stories and plays, including the masterpieces: 'Uncle Vanya', 'The Seagull', and 'The Cherry Orchard'. Ronald Wilks has translated many Russian works including, for Penguin, those of Gorky, Sologub, Tolstoy, Pushkin, and Chekhov. J. Douglas Clayton is Professor of Russian at the University of Ottawa. He is the author of 'Pierrot in Petrograd' about the Commedia dell'arte and the Russian tradition.

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