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About Love

Author: Chekhov Anton

Genre: Short Story

Year: 1860


About Love

The book includes well-known pieces such as "The Lady with the Little Dog," as well as less familiar work like "Gusev," inspired by Chekhov's travels in the Far East, and "Rothschild's Violin," a haunting and darkly humorous tale about death and loss. The stories are arranged chronologically to show the evolution of Chekhov's art and published in 1860-1904.

In "About Love," two friends who were caught in a storm while out walking have sought shelter in a third friend's country home. They stayed the night and at lunch the next day their host, Alehin, tells them a story about his lost love. It seems that when he was young, he worked closely with Luganovitch, the vice-president of the circuit court, and became close friends with Luganovitch and his beautiful wife Anna Alexyevna.

Over the years, Alehin and Anna spent a great deal of time together; he fell passionately in love with her and felt confident that she reciprocated his feelings. Yet, they never acted on their passion. At last, after many years, when Anna was setting out on the train to join her husband, who had been transferred to a distant province, Alehin took her into his arms and proclaimed his love. They collapsed in tears. But alas, the train left: "I kissed her for the last time, pressed her hand, and parted forever."

This collection of short stories truly is about love. Not happy-ending fairytale love, but the love that really exists in the world: usually unequal felt, sometimes obsessive, and often inexplicable. The stories are all beautiful, well written and self-contained. Each story exhibits a different type of love: love of parents for children, unrequited love, obsessive love, forbidden loves, loves that could have been.

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