The Kiss and Other Stories
Translated by Hugh Aplin
While at a party organized by the lieutenant of his regiment, the shy and awkward Ryabovitch is suddenly kissed by an unknown woman in a dark room. This unexpected and electrifying encounter marks a turning point in his life and a shift in his personality, arousing his passions and setting him on a desperate quest to discover the identity of the mysterious lady.
One of Chekhov’s most admired stories, ‘The Kiss’ is joined in this volume by five equally celebrated tales in a brand-new translation by Hugh Aplin: ‘The Lady with the Little Dog’, ‘Ward Six’, ‘The Black Monk’, ‘The House with a Mezzanine, ‘The Peasants’ and ‘The Bishop’ – making this an indispensable collection for those wanting to discover Chekhov at his creative best.
The virtue of this story [The Kiss] is its completeness, its summoning of human feelings perfectly matched to the events that produce them.
What writers influenced me as a young man? Chekhov! As a dramatist? Chekhov! As a story writer? Chekhov!
It was a delight to revisit Chekhov through these crisp, newly minted translations. For a newcomer to his work, this book will serve as an ideal introduction to a classic writer and a wholly admirable man.
The Compulsive Reader
Anton Chekhov (1860–1904) is one of the giants of modern literature, exerting a strong influence on many present-day novelists and dramatists. As a playwright, he ranks in popularity second only to Shakespeare in the English-speaking world. As a prose writer, he was one of the first to use the stream-of-consciousness technique, and his anti-heroic realism, full of ambiguity and allusion, provides no easy moral conclusions and results in a new kind of narrative approaching real life in a way no writer had achieved before him.