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The Black Monk

3.92 of 5 stars 3.92  ·  rating details  ·  450 ratings  ·  50 reviews
In ancient times a happy man grew at last frightened of his happiness -- it was so great! -- and to propitiate the gods he brought as a sacrifice his favourite ring. Do you know, I, too, like Polykrates, begin to be uneasy of my happiness. It seems strange to me that from morning to night I feel nothing but joy; it fills my whole being and smothers all other feelings. I do ...more
Kindle Edition
Published (first published 1894)
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Cheryl Kennedy
Anton Checkhov (1860-1904) has the gift of being able to tell us about ourselves. It is relatively common for some to be able to recognize distinguishing patterns of the mind. Psychologists, psychiatrists and counselors study healthy and pathological thinking and ascribe diagnosis and treatment. All that mental health encapsulates does not measure up to the wisdom of one who looks beyond the carefully observant obvious to the depths of one's being. The former skills name how humans are alike, th ...more
Martine
One of the things I like best about the great nineteenth-century Russian authors is how they can have their characters say outrageously grandiose things without making them sound ridiculous. Such are their characters' passions and romantic ideals that they get away with statements which in Western European or American literature would draw a guffaw from the reader. Take, for instance, this violent outburst by Andrei Kovrin, the schizophrenic hero of Chekhov's story 'The Black Monk':

'I was going
...more
Momina Masood
“I became insane, with long intervals of horrible sanity.” ― Edgar Allan Poe

Beautiful story. Reminds one of Dostoevsky's The Dream of a Ridiculous Man. It's only natural for philosophically inquisitive minds to be labeled 'weird' and 'crazy'. And madness, in itself, is a relative term. The message of this story for me is to embrace your insanity with joy and not to let people 'cure' you of something that is your truth, your essence. Not to conform, not to go by other people's definition of 'sens
...more
Adnan
A man goes mad after seeing (and then regularly conversing with) a black monk who may or may not be a figment of his imagination. Chekhov's short story is about the thin line separating madness from genius. His poetry ("the sea looked at him with its multitude of light blue, dark blue, turquoise and fiery eyes") plays as contrast against the dark, oppressive mood of the book in which a marriage, a beautiful garden and ultimately the hero's life meet ruinous end. Featuring a frenzied prose style ...more
Ahmed Mahmoud Gamal

بعد قراءه روايه (ثلاث سنوات)الروايه السيئه لانطون تشيخوف وكنت قد أخذت قرار بعدم قراءه عمل لتشخوف هذه الايام على الاقل بعد هذه التجربه المخيبه للامال . تأتى هذه القصه لتبرهن على خطأ قرارى

هذه قصه جميله جدا وممتعه بالرغم من قصرها فعدد صفحاتها لايتجاوز المئه الا انها عظيمه الاثر
تحكى عن كوفرين ذلك الرجل دارس الفلسفه وباحث فى الوجود يبدو للجميع أنه مجنون وهذا بسبب ما يراه
فى احلامه وبسبب ذلك السراب المتمثل فى هيئه راهب يرتدى السواد

نكتشف من خلال تلك الصفحات انه احيانا الجنون افضل من امتلاك العقل .فام
...more
Perry Whitford
An ailing Magistar and philosopher spends the summer at the house of his childhood mentor and friend, a wealthy horticulturalist. His friends daughter Tanya, just a child last time he saw her some years ago, has grown into an attractive woman, and his host has designs on them as a couple.
Whilst there he is momentarily touched by a fleeting combination of music, voice and story and sees the vision of a floating monk from a legend, is enervated by it and longs for "something vast, infinite, astoni
...more
Judy Vasseur
I went out of my mind, I had megalomania; but then I was cheerful, confident, and even happy; I was interesting and original...I saw hallucinations, but what harm did that do to anyone? I ask, what harm did that do any one?
Chekhov would probably be critical of the wide spread usage of anti-depressant and anti-psychotic medications in the 21st century. In his day they made the bi-polars drink lots of milk and cut off their long hair.
Daren
Two short stories in this Penguin 60s book.

The title story - the story of Andrey Korvin, a successful writer who suffers from exhaustion and is sent to the countryside to rest and recuperate. He doesn't stop working, but spends more and more time visiting an old friend, and eventually falls in love with, and marries his daughter. He recalls a legend, about visions of the Black Monk in Syria (or Arabia), followed by similar sightings in Africa, Spain, the far North, who will appear 1000 years aft
...more
Sneh Pradhan
Having read this story , I am beginning to realise why Russians are generally deemed melancholic and depressive . Whether or not it is true of the general public , if the traits distill into a sordid story as this , we as readers are all the more delighted and gripped by an iron hand that forces us to face inconvenient truths . Chekhov , at his usual habit of tugging at philosophy and existential truths , which however we always vehemently or furtively brush off , stays and lingers as festering ...more
☽ Moon Rose ☯
Among the short stories I read by Chekhov, this stood out so far, mainly because, its strikingly close to one of Dostoevsky's favorite subject, the disturbed mind and its repercussions. The story reminds me of Dostoevsky's The Double, where his hero, Goldyakin suffers a form of schizophrenia and sees a vision of his own self and at the same time, Kovrin parallels the character of Raskolnikov from Crime and Punishment. Both became delusional of their own genius, the other was pushed to murder an ...more
William Dearth
Chekhov's short stories are always entertaining and this on is no exception.
Jim Robles
I am reading this after "The Woman Upstairs" by Clair Messud. Either order is fine, but I am glad I did both before April book club.

The thirtieth book (short story) I have finished this year.

Notes:

The misogyny is everywhere: "In our work females are the scourge of God!"

"And then followed an inappropriate, affected, and insincere regret that peasants who stole fruit and broke the branches could not nowadays be flogged. (The Middle Ages have (1894) ended.)

t occurred to him that if this strange, su
...more
Coenraad
Two unusual short stories from one of Russia's finest writers. In Chekhov's plays he portrayed the Russian psyche, mainly by analysing the lives of aristocratic people. In 'The black monk' he also deals with the land-owning class, considering health, mental stability and happiness. In 'Peasants' he portrays a rather harrowing picture of rural poverty. Some of his elder characters long for the days of serfdom; illiteracy and alcoholism is rife and the level of understanding of the religion they p ...more
Ashley
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
P. Katriina  ❆
Okay my friends, I am going to tell you about a thing. A fairly personal thing, even.
I do have a personality disorder where I, at times, develop psychoses, i.e., I hear things, and I see things whenever I get psychotic outbreaks. This is relatively rare these days, but I have experienced a lot of hallucinations.
Hence, I am always incredibly sceptical about writers writing any kind of psychotic characters.
Yet however, I am pretty biased towards russian writers, too. I like to believe that they
...more
Riham
لو كنا قد عالجنا كل من جاءته الهواجس لما بقى لنا من العظماء أحد!!!!!!
سؤال سألته دوما ايهم أن يكون لك حياة تعيشها فقط فى رأسك مادامت تجعلك سعيدا!!!!!

القصة من أجمل ما قرأت..
أليسوا من يسمعون تلك الأصوات التى ندعوها هواجس هم من ذهبوا حيث لم يذهب الآخرون؟ّ
Rosalba
Racconti in cui Cechov affronta con ironia la nostra universale paura della morte, dell’ignoto e della pazzia.
Ensiform
“The Black Monk,” translated by Ronald Wilks. Kovrin, a sickly intellectual, begins to hallucinate a monk who tells him his work will advance human redemption by a thousand years; his new wife tries to cure him, but this makes him resentful and vicious. An odd story, seemingly meant to convey the fatal oppression of everyday existence and the dangers of genius, or perhaps simply the frailty of human life and the futility of wishing for immortality. Kovrin’s father in law suffers the same delusio ...more
The_Freddy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
TarasProkopyuk
«Чёрный монах» очень неоднозначное произведение Чехова…

Порой трудно поверить, что это его рук работа. Стиль его, Чехова, но содержание… даже и не знаю, что здесь добавить после прочитанного… Я в замешательстве!

В работе есть здравые зёрна, но в них очень кардинальное и радикальное видение. Одним словом данная книга посеяла во мне множество сомнений и ещё больше размышлений…
Yuliya Doyle
It's a wonderfully written novella by Chekhov. It tells us a story about a man who's haunted by a legend of the black monk that travels through the atmosphere and through times. Eventually he meets him and starts talking to him but realises he's nothing but his hallucination. The main character has gone insane but Chekhov actually questions sanity not the other way around...
Luc Abdullah
"Why, why have you cured me? Preparations of
bromide, idleness, hot baths, supervision, cowardly consternation at every mouthful, at every step all this will
reduce me at last to idiocy. I went out of my mind, I had megalomania; but then I was cheerful, confident, and
even happy; I was interesting and original. Now I have become more sensible and stolid, but I am just like every
one else: I am mediocrity; I am weary of life. . . . Oh, how cruelly you have treated me! . . . I saw
hallucinations, but w
...more
Monther Talalini
ولأني استيقظ قبل العصر بمدة قصيرة، يتاح لي وقت لابأس فيه للقراءة... تعثرت - كما تقولوا - على رواية الراهب الأسود، لأنتون تيشخوف، وهي أول مرة اقرأ له...

أعجبني كوفرين بطريقة تفكيره، الرواية قصيرة وتقدم فكرة جميلة، أن الإنسان إن كان طبيعي وعادي فلن يكون مميز إطلاقاً...وأن العبقرية هي صنو للجنون، وأنها لاتأتي من كوننا طبعيين إطلاقاً.

جيدة - من
...more
Dale Pobega
A brilliant portrait not just of an individual's descent into madness but of the "collateral damage" wrought along the way. Kovrin's derangement brings down those who care about and love him most, his former guardian, Yegor Pesotsky and eventual wife, Tanya. The story seems to prefigure "The Cherry Orchard." Yegor's prized orchard—where "the trees were arranged like chess pieces, in straight and regular rows like ranks of soldiers" is ruined, wrecked as it passes from the old order to the new. L ...more
Cynthia Egbert
This is not a story that I would recommend to just anyone. It outlines, in a stunning way, the descent into madness. But those who suffer from depression or other conditions might find this one really disturbing and too close to home. It is Chekhov and I love him beyond belief, it is pretty irrational.
Marshall
الوهم جميل..
هكذا تكلم الراهب الأسود, أن تكون انسانا عاديّا و تصغي لاراء الناس قد يعجل بموتك النفسي أولا و الجسدي ثانيا
فرغم اللبن و الامتناع عن التدخين , مات البطل في النهاية
رواية ممتازة, و ضرورية باعتبار وجود دوستفسكي و رواياته ..رلأيت توازنا طبيعيا خلق من تناقض الروائيين.
Everett Darling
Praised as being the greatest short story writer in the history of time by his devoted fans of great and legendary literary merit. Prior to this I had read Katherine Mansfield, reported to be one of his disciples, and found her stories to be among the most honest and sympathetic that I have ever read. Naturally I turned to one said to be her superior and a major influence on her style and skill, and although his writing is certainly skillful, for me, Mansfield is his superior. That being said, I ...more
Keith
The "The Black Monk" is a good short story. A young academic Andrei Korvin takes a leave of absence.He visits the home of a former guardian to relax. He soon has a visit with a ghostly specter. The visit makes him happy and inspired. He developes a relationship with his hosts daughter. He continues to be visited by the specter. His relationship with Tania and others continues. He starts to act erratically...
Now there is a difference between the way he sees himself and the way others see him.
Chek
...more
Menna
الشعرة الفاصلة بين العبقرية والجنون ليست واضحة المعالم دائما.
تشيخوف عبقري في وصف ما يدور في رأس أبطاله. سأظل للأبد أحسده على هذه الملكة..
Alejandro Salgado B.
Estupendo cuento del maestro del relato corto.
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/lit/ Revival of ...: * The Black Monk 14 65 Feb 13, 2014 09:00AM  
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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
...more
More about Anton Chekhov...
Selected Stories The Cherry Orchard The Seagull The Complete Short Novels Uncle Vanya

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