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The Duel

Anton Pavlovich Chekhov

Book Overview: 

The plot centers around Laevsky, who is living in a small seaside town in the Caucasus after running away with another man's wife, Nadyezhda Fyodorovna, amid dreams of starting a new life. The dreams have come to nothing as Laevsky idles away his life drinking and playing cards, and Nadyezhda begins to have other affairs. Laevsky's scheme to run away again, this time without his mistress, brings him into conflict with the rationalist Von Koren, who believes in Darwinian principles of natural selection and extinction of the weak and useless. Matters come to a head when an outburst from Laevsky leads to a duel. Von Koren is determined to teach Laevksy a lesson

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .peasants carrying the banners and the women and children the ikons, then the boy choristers and the sacristan with his face tied up and a straw in his hair, then in due order himself, the deacon, and behind him the priest wearing his calotte and carrying a cross, and behind them, tramping in the dust, a crowd of peasants—men, women, and children; in the crowd his wife and the priest's wife with kerchiefs on their heads. The choristers sing, the babies cry, the corncrakes call, the lark carols. . . . Then they make a stand and sprinkle the herd with holy water. . . . They go on again, and then kneeling pray for rain. Then lunch and talk. . . .

"And that's nice too . . ." thought the deacon.


Kirilin and Atchmianov climbed up the mountain by the path. Atchmianov dropped behind and stopped, while Kirilin went up to Nadyezhda Fyodorovna.

"Good-evening," he said, touching his cap.

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Community Reviews

This was my introduction to Anton Chekhov in any format, and I was thoroughly impressed. The short story is indeed an art form that few people do well. There are a number of genre writers (Stephen King, David Morrell, Ray Bradbury, Robert McCammon) who do quite well, but in literary fiction there ar

Coming in at over 100 pages and by far the longest piece here, 'The Duel' is a superb piece of work. I loved the way Chekhov shifts the perspective between the four main chatacters and I was pleasantly surprised at how hopeful the ending was - anyone looking for some great literature which is not a

I enjoyed all of Chekhov's stories in this book but his short story The Duel is the best. Set in the seaside town of Caucasus (interestingly, as I write this, in 2012, one is highly discouraged by the U.S. government from visiting this area, which is a shame, because it is, from Chekhov's descriptio

Some great stories in here, though I'm not convinced yet that Chekhov could pull off a long piece (the title story takes some great directions, but overall doesn't compel). But my main quibble here has to do with some translation choices--some of what was probably colloquial Russian was translated i

In a brisk 142 pages we have the 6 short stories in The Duel and Other Stories by Anton Chekhov. Consider that the title story, The Duel is 88 pages and brisk is indeed very fast.

The title story is not my favorite. As seems to be the case in short story duels, the cause is hard to consider as worth

Прво морам да нагласим да као и обично нисам успио да нађем "своје" издање (а то је она нека Џепна књига), па сам морао да изаберем неко које је најприближније. У овом "мом" издању се поред двобоја налази само још једна приповијетка / новела / који-већ-ђаво, под називом Мој живот. Због тога ћу у тек

I had always wanted to read Chekhov. However, I hate to admit that if not for the tag 'Contemporary Anton Chekhov' on Alice Munro, I wouldn't have started this book yet. All of a sudden, I wanted to read a Munro, then the meticulous me ended up landing here.

Halfway into the book, I thought I would p

Le droit à la médiocrité

« Lorsque pour un effet déterminé on met en jeu le minimum de gestes, cela s’appelle la grâce. » (Anton Tchekhov)

J’avais oublié l’ineffable atmosphère de la littérature russe, avec ses héros à au moins trois noms (sans compter les diminutifs) parmi lesquels tu risques de te p

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