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LIT 66 — The Stories and Plays of Anton Chekhov

Quarter: Winter
Day(s): Tuesdays
Course Format: Live Online (About Formats)
Duration: 5 weeks
Date(s): Jan 24—Feb 21
Time: 7:00—8:50 pm (PT)
Refund Deadline: Jan 26
Unit: 1
Tuition: $345
Instructor(s): Anne Hruska
Class Recording Available: Yes
Status: Closed
DOWNLOAD THE SYLLABUS » (subject to change)
Live Online(About Formats)
7:00—8:50 pm (PT)
Jan 24—Feb 21
5 weeks
Refund Date
Jan 26
1 Unit
Anne Hruska
DOWNLOAD THE SYLLABUS » (subject to change)
In describing his early life, Anton Chekhov wrote, “I acquired my belief in progress when still a child; I couldn’t help believing it, because the difference between the period when they flogged me and the period when they stopped flogging me was so enormous.” This sentence is typical of Chekhov’s writing in the way that a few words can express multiple facets at once, revealing Chekhov’s humor, bitterness, and deep commitment to truth and justice. The grandson of a serf, Chekhov rescued his family from poverty through the money he made from his early writings. By the time of his death from tuberculosis at age 44, Chekhov was recognized as a profoundly important writer, one who has changed our understanding of what stories and plays can do. Chekhov’s works are capable of simultaneously expressing deep cynicism and far-reaching empathy. His stories and plays explore intimate details about everyday human life, as well as overarching questions about love, eternity, and the role of literary art. In this course, we will read short stories from Chekhov’s early, middle, and late periods, as well as two of his plays, Uncle Vanya and The Cherry Orchard. We will focus on understanding his writing in a historical and literary context, as well as its artistic structure.

Senior English Instructor, Stanford Online High School

Anne Hruska taught for five years in Stanford’s Introduction to the Humanities program and has also taught at UC Berkeley, the University of Missouri, and the Pedagogical Institute in Saratov, Russia. She received a PhD from UC Berkeley, and her academic specialty is Russian literature.

Textbooks for this course:

(Required) Anton Chekhov, (Ed.) Cathy Popkin, Anton Chekhov's Selected Stories(Norton Critical Edition) (ISBN 978-0393925302)
(Required) Anton Chekhov, (Ed.)Peter Carson, Plays: Ivanov; The Seagull; Uncle Vanya; Three Sisters; The CherryOrchard (Penguin Classics) (ISBN 978-0140447330)