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The Duel

Translated by Margarita Shalina

Part of The Art of the Novella

One of Chekhov’s most important lengthy works, this remarkable story gives a startling twist to his classic, ongoing study of bourgeois romance when he sets it on a collision course with a decaying, Czarist concept of honor. It ends in the ultimate Chekhovian observation: that fate is often ludicrous.

Melville House HybridBooks combine print and digital media into an enhanced reading experience by including with each title additional curated material called Illuminations — maps, photographs, illustrations, and further writing about the author and the book.

The Melville House Illuminations are free with the purchase of any title in the HybridBook series, no matter the format.

Purchasers of the print version can obtain the Illuminations for a given title simply by scanning the QR code found in the back of each book, or by following the url also given in the back of the print book, then downloading the Illumination in whatever format works best for you.

Purchasers of the digital version receive the appropriate Illuminations automatically as part of the ebook edition.

Illuminations for The Duel by Anton Chekhov includes writings by:

  • Mikhail Lermontov
  • Ivan Goncharov
  • Alexander Pushkin
  • Herbert Spencer
  • Friedrich Nietzsche
  • Jack London
  • A guide to the game of vint.
  • And more 

As an added bonus, each book in The Duel x5 series contains a “Duelist’s Supplement,” a fascinating compendium of the art, history and literature of dueling.

The Duel by Giacomo Casanova contains “Duels, Duelists and Dueling Grounds: A Survey of the Infamous and Bizarre” – Included are brief biographies of the ten greatest duelists in history, accounts of four bizarre duels and lore concerning history’s most notorious dueling grounds.

The Duel by Anton Chekhov contains “Against The Duel: Writing in Protest of Dueling” – Included is the trial records of Sir Francis Bacon’s oration against dueling, as well as the Council of Toledo’s official ban on dueling.

The Duel by Joseph Conrad contains “The Code Duello: A Diverse Anthology for Personal Use” – The French, Irish, American South code duellos are included, as well as Queensbury Rules and a profile of the Viking code of dueling, known as the Holmganga.

The Duel by Heinrich von Kleist contains “The Art of Dueling: How to Shoot and Slash Your Way to Satisfaction” – A compendium of fencing and pistol technique, including descriptions of two-handed sword wielding tactics and a complete edition of a facsimile edition of the famous Italian fencing manual, The Flower of Battle.

The Duel by Alexander Kuprin contains “The Other Duel: Fiction and Poetry Concerning Duels” – Contains “The Duel” by Guy de Maupassant, Emily Dickinson, Alexander Pushkin, Thomas Hardy and O. Henry, and selections from many other dueling stories and poems.

ANTON CHEKHOV (1860–1904) became one of the world’s leading writers for a series of stories, novellas and plays that are now recognized as masterpieces, including novellas such as My Life and plays such as The Cherry Orchard.

MARGARITA SHALINA is a poet, essayist and translator who lives in New York City.

“[A] bracingly comic story—available in a series of duel-themed novellas reprinted by Melville House.”
New Yorker

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