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My Life

3.92  ·  Rating Details ·  629 Ratings  ·  64 Reviews
...perhaps I was not living as I ought.

Renowned as the greatest short story writer ever, Anton Chekhov was also a master of the novella, and perhaps his most overlooked is this gem, My Life—the tale of a rebellious young man so disgusted with bourgeois society that he drops out to live amongst the working classes, only to find himself confronted by the morally and mentally
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Paperback, 150 pages
Published May 1st 2004 by Melville House (first published 1896)
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Ahmad Sharabiani
моя жизнь = My Life, Anton Chekhov
عنوان: زندگی من؛ نویسنده: آنتون چخوف؛ مترجم: احمد گلشیری؛ تهران، آفرینگان، 1379؛ در 178 ص؛ شابک: ایکس - 964902171؛ موضوع: داستانهای نویسندگان روسیه - قرن 19 م
عنوان: زندگی من و شش داستان دیگر؛ نویسنده: آنتون چخوف؛ مترجم: جهانگیر افکاری؛ تهران، علمی فرهنگی، چاپ پنجم 1388؛ در 264 ص؛ شابک: 9789646205970؛ موضوع: داستانهای نویسندگان روسیه - قرن 19 م
داستانهای «زندگی من»، «پدر» و «در راه سفر»، و ...؛ داستان «زندگی من» از قویترین داستانهای آنتوان چخوف به شمار میآید ، داس
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Franco  Santos
Un libro 100 % Chéjov. Uno de los pilares más importantes de este autor es la verdad; Chéjov decía que la ficción que miente no es buena ficción. Este relato es un espejo de lo que somos: pobres miserables que buscan su lugar en el mundo mientras sufren en soledad.
Vivian
Apr 09, 2016 Vivian rated it liked it
Lice eats grass, rust eats iron, and lying the soul.

Russian literature and I have a dysfunctional relationship. I think I should like it, have had several friends over the years who adore it, and yet, at some point during a book I want to put myself out of my misery. Whether it's Tolstoy, Dostoyevski, or Chekhov I find a point where I really understand vodka. To be fair, I had a nice Turgenev experience and still need to crack open Gogol, but that will come after a breather because this one to
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Leo Robertson
May 02, 2016 Leo Robertson rated it really liked it
Classic Chekhov: keeps everything in flux.

Every story of his I've read has the same principle: 'I think this is good; (s)he thinks the opposite is good. We're both kinda right, but you can't ever prove one is greater than the other.'

This version is bourgeois life vs. manual labour. They both have their strengths and weaknesses, but even so, we're still all going to die, and before then, most people suck.

Cheers, Chekhov. See you in, uh... a few months ;D
d
May 31, 2014 d rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle, novela, l-rusa
(Hay un punto que me inquieta de Chejov: el hecho de que el tipo haya considerado sus textos dramáticos como comedias. ¿En la cabeza de quién se le ocurre pensar a Tío Vania o La Gaviota como comedias? ¿Acaso es una joda bárbara la caída en desgracia de la clase rusa terrateniente y/o noble a fines del siglo XIX?)

Drama como comedia clasista. Con esta idea llegué a Relato de mi vida, novella que narra el coming of age de un traidor a su clase. A saber: Misail (25-26), hijo del arquitecto de una c
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Manik Sukoco
Jan 05, 2016 Manik Sukoco rated it it was ok
My Life was published in 1896, five years after The Duel, but it seems in some perhaps superficial ways to have the qualities of an earlier work. The first-person narrator is a young man, and a very idealistic one, who has found himself idle in his posts as a clerk and has given up employment respectable for his class in favor of manual labor.
In The Duel, too, Chekhov explored some of the modern ideas of philosophy and political economy that were swirling around Russia and the rest of the world
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Deniss
Jan 10, 2015 Deniss rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Mascha dice en una carta: "El rey David tenía un anillo con la inscripción: «Todo pasa.» Cuando se está triste, estas palabras consuelan; cuando se está alegre, producen melancolía. Yo también me he mandado hacer una sortija parecida, con una inscripción judaica, y ella no me permite extralimitarme ni en las alegrías ni en las tristezas. Sí, todo pasará; la vida misma acabará, ¿por qué entonces atribuir tanta importancia a nuestras pequeñas alegrías y dolores?"

Al final, Misail, el protagonista,
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Bridgette Davis
Jun 19, 2009 Bridgette Davis rated it really liked it
Shelves: world-lit
I loved the argument in this book between Misail (the protagonist) and Dr. Blagovo. It is, in fact, a wonderful argument that could be had today. Misail expresses the underlying principle of his life choices, "that is what is wanted is that the strong should not enslave the weak, that the minority should not be a parasite on the majority, nor a vampire for ever sucking its vital sap; that is, all, without exception, strong and weak, rich and poor, should take part equally in the struggle for exi ...more
Rachel
Nov 27, 2008 Rachel rated it really liked it
I have previously hated Chekhov ever since, in high school, I was forced to perform one of his plays in drama class. It was called "The Bear" and was probably a horrible translation, because the lines were stilted and, even worse, I had to kiss someone that I had complicated feelings about. Apparently that was the purpose of drama class, since it happened to me like six different times, even before I had ever kissed someone FOR REALS. Eww.

But this book was actually surprisingly good, especially
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Jon Ballard
Apr 23, 2014 Jon Ballard rated it liked it
Just what I expected from a Chekhov story; lean, unsentimental prose; a main character striving to understand and be understood; and a strain of melancholy that seems true to the characters, the plot, and to life itself. The ending seemed rushed, however, and undercut the overall power of the story. I prefer many of his short stories to this novella, but it's a worthwhile read, and maybe a nice intro to Chekhov for the uninitiated.
Joshua
May 14, 2008 Joshua rated it liked it
Recommends it for: people with short attention spans
Ah, the story of a man who turns his back on his high-class roots and slaves it with peasants, only to find out that peasants are assholes too. A good little novella, kinda depressing. A good read for a plane ride....to the Ukraine.
TarasProkopyuk
Nov 15, 2012 TarasProkopyuk rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
Эта история о том как сложно вырваться из рамок узкого мышления и устоявшихся устоев.

Одни смирились с этими рамками и идут в них на поводу, другие бороться но не достаточно, чтобы преодолеть их, некоторые преодолевают, но оглядываются всё время назад, некоторые слишком сильно отрываются и до поры до времени витают в облаках. Так как же правильно? Автор не даёт ответов, а лишь исскустно описывает картину жизни главных героев, и как ему свойственно изящно высмеивает и осуждает множественные челове
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Mila
May 07, 2016 Mila rated it did not like it
Shelves: russian
Had it not been Chekhov, had it not been that short, I would have given up on this one.
Essentially, this novella articulates his bleak vision of existence, but apparently it is still too long to allow his writing mastery to blossom. No ellipse here, no innuendo, no suggestion. The dialogues conveying socio-economic aspects of 19th century Russia are tediously didactical, the prose is dull and the descriptions, heavily redundant and monotonous.
Such a huge disappointment.
Anna
Aug 08, 2013 Anna rated it it was amazing
Shelves: novels
It's so wonderful. Probably the longest single work Chekhov wrote.
Lailaturrahmi
Dec 14, 2016 Lailaturrahmi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned-ebook
Lama tidak menamatkan buku sejak bulan lalu agaknya membuat kecepatan membaca saya melambat, bahkan untuk buku setipis ini. (oke, pengakuan, saya membaca versi ebooknya dari U of Adelaide).

Tokoh utama kita, si Aku, yang kemudian diketahui bernama Misail adalah seseorang yang ingin keluar dari jalan hidup yang telah 'digariskan' untuknya. Bekerja menggunakan 'otak' bukan otot, biar hanya jadi klerek sekalipun karena inilah tradisi keluarga kita sejak masa kakekmu, demikianlah alasan ayah Misail.
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K.C. David
Feb 02, 2017 K.C. David rated it liked it
Main Character is a chump. The story in itself is a bit boring at times, but some parts are interesting enough. I came in expecting a tale strictly about the strugles of someone of Bourgousie trying to work his way down the social ladder and join the working class (Proletariat) plebs. What I found was something similair to this but focusing quite a lot on romance and love, which is fine I suppose just not what I expected. The ending did wrap things up quite nicely and I found myself almost moved ...more
Chandini
A very good example of period Russian slice of life in one way and a good discussion of societal classes and what's truly important in life in another. A major lesson to be learned whether you agree with the main character giving up his noble status to work as a house painter and farmer or not is that you should follow your conscience. When everyone begs him to stop disgracing himself and his family he asks how to do that when he's only following the dictates of his conscience.
Julia Leporace
Jan 31, 2017 Julia Leporace rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"El director me dijo:
-Sólo le sostengo por respeto a su honorable padre. A no ser por él hace tiempo que habría salido volando de aquí.
Yo le contesté:
-Excelencia, me halaga usted suponiendo que sé volar."
Mark
Feb 18, 2016 Mark rated it did not like it
As class critique, didactic and schematic, a scattershot treatise with hollow characters that are barely-veiled mouthpieces for Chekhov's philosophical pretenses for writing this. Chekhov doesn't even do his readers the favor of bothering to present his argument dialectically but rather proceeds via brute force and an unconvincingly stacked deck. Besides his obvious sin of subjugating an ostensible work of art into an only marginally nuanced screed, Chekhov further errs by going far too light on ...more
Daniel
Dec 11, 2016 Daniel rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: russos
Concordo com Tolstói quando este escreveu a respeito desta novela "Há passagens surpreendentes, mas em seu conjunto a novela é fraca". Gostaria que Tchekhov tivesse explorado mais profundamente o desencanto, as alegrias e as angústias dos personagens, assim como desenvolvido mais o lado humano e individualista das escolhas feitas por Missail Póloznev e não ter entrado tanto na questão da justiça moral universal que essas escolhas representavam. Os personagens ficaram um pouco distantes de mim, a ...more
David James
May 31, 2016 David James rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Chekhov, Anton. My Life

In a sense this is a fragment of autobiography in that the protagonist grows up in a small rural town, is in love with landscape and is drawn to the magic of the theatre. But ‘My Life,’ subtitled ‘The Story of a Provincial,’ is quite different from its author’s life. Chekhov, though rural by birth is mentally and physically restless, often visits St Petersburg, where he finds friends among writers and artists and makes exhausting treks into unknown country, crossing the wh
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Ali
Sep 10, 2015 Ali rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourites
I'm actually left speechless, in a state of melancholia even; my rambling won't do justice to this masterpiece of a work. It's poignant and the whole theme, with the grim realities of life, lay a very heavy burden on your heart. This novella is a testimony to Chekhov's ability to conjure up life from only words, in all its beauty and harrowing reality, with all the moral choices that one makes as he treads along the path, and the distressing repercussions that come along with those choices.

Somet
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El Divino Bambú
Es un relato lento. Por momentos tedioso, en mi opinión. No se comparan ni a sus relatos ni a su dramas. No obstante, existen ciertos tópicos (como la heroína que, como un ave, busca su libertad por medio del arte y la aventura) que pueden ser de provecho para los lectores interesados en desentrañar la poética de Chéjov. También es un texto que sirve para acercarse a algunas de las ideas que el autor problematiza y que marcaron el largo siglo XIX (la figura del intelectual, la salvación por medi ...more
Marc Gerstein
Jan 26, 2016 Marc Gerstein rated it really liked it
Shelves: classics
A novella that’s probably longer and more repetitious than it needs to be, but one that is incredibly thought provoking nonetheless and which should re required reading in any sociology curriculum.

Misail, the son of a well-respected straight-laced architect rejects his father’s bourgeoisie world and values and determinedly pursues what he sees as a more authentic path, the life of a laborer. The ideal, taking shape in Chekhov’s time and becoming much more vociferously advocated later on (see, e
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Corinne Wasilewski
May 18, 2015 Corinne Wasilewski rated it really liked it
The protagonist of the story is Misail Poloznev, an idealistic young man who renounces his claim to rank, money, and education to embrace the life of a labourer. Poloznev is a likeable character, admirable for his convictions as well as for his smarts and compassion. As the story progresses, he discovers that labourers and peasants are as flawed as the cultured and rich, that all men are far from perfect with their propensity for deceit, drunkenness, superstition, and violence.

This is my first
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Pete
Aug 09, 2013 Pete rated it liked it
pretty minor -- feels kind of like the turn of the century russian novelist version of an "issues novel," about tolstoyism. there are moments of great craft here --the way chekhov uses the minor characters as both texture and plot, the way a set of hooks on the wall of a shed recur three times, the fact that there is a character named "Radish." part of the inconsequence/lightweight of this book is the fussy, dated constance garnett translation. i still sort of feel like melville house is running ...more
Keelan
Dec 28, 2014 Keelan rated it it was ok
I read this novella for the December meeting of the Pennington Public Library's Too-Busy-For-Books book club, although I wasn't able to attend the meeting, since I was away at a conference that week. I had a hard time staying interested in this story, partly due to the fact that I read it in fits and starts and therefore had trouble keeping track of the various minor characters involved in the narrative. There was much interesting satire in it, but I think it would have made more of a lasting im ...more
k
Aug 30, 2013 k rated it it was amazing
Interesting to consider My Life in light of Nabokov's stance on books with morals. I'm not sure if there's an easy moral to My Life, and yet it deals with moral issues, far more subtly and convincingly than a book like Lolita. Books should be realistic, in the sense of reflecting some kind of reality, but I much prefer a book like this, where Misail makes a moral choice and then has to deal with the realities of that choice. It's "realistic", but explores what happens when a certain accepted rea ...more
Terence
Sep 23, 2016 Terence rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, novella
I have a very early memory of selecting this collection of Chekhov's short stories when I was very young and those stories made a big impression on me. "My Life" wasn't in the collection but really struck a chord with me, Misail renounces his life of privilege to live amongst the people and the complicates every relationship he has. One of the most impressive thing is that though this has a political message it never loses the beauty of its prose. There are passages I would reread over and over ...more
Saeed
Oct 26, 2012 Saeed rated it it was amazing
Shelves: my-library
این گوشهای از زندگی چخوف، نمایشنامهنویس و داستانسرای بیهمتاست. آغاز جوانی اوست. از زندگی خشک و بیروح پدری که اسیر اوهام اشرافی است میگریزد، پی کارهای بدنی و رنگ کردن شیروانی میرود. این شهامت، در آن شهر کوچک، دختر اعیانزادهای را شیفته او میکند. هر دو از شهر دل برمیکنند و به زندگی روستایی و کارهای تولیدی فلاکتبار پناه میبرند... ولی سیل سهمگین زندگی اجتماعی همه این هوسبازیهای هوشمندانه را میشوید و با خود میبرد . . . .ـ ...more
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  • The Squabble
  • The Lemoine Affair
  • The Dialogue of the Dogs
  • The Lesson of the Master
  • The Duel
  • The Beach of Falesá
  • The Duel
  • The Man That Corrupted Hadleyburg
  • The Nice Old Man and the Pretty Girl
  • Freya of the Seven Isles
  • The Duel
  • The Enchanted Wanderer
  • May Day
  • Tales of Belkin
  • The Touchstone
  • The Eternal Husband
  • The Forged Coupon
  • The Distracted Preacher
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Anton Pavlovich Chekhov was born in the small seaport of Taganrog, southern Russia, the son of a grocer. Chekhov's grandfather was a serf, who had bought his own freedom and that of his three sons in 1841. He also taught himself to read and write. Yevgenia Morozova, Chekhov's mother, was the daughter of a cloth merchant.

"When I think back on my childhood," Chekhov recalled, "it all seems quite glo
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“If I wanted to order a ring for myself, the inscription I should choose would be: “Nothing passes away.” I believe that nothing passes away without leaving a trace, and that every step we take, however small, has significance for our present and our future existence.” 6 likes
“We have been sincere from beginning to end," said I, "and if anyone is sincere he is right.” 6 likes
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