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Ward No. 6

Book cover
By: (1860-1904)

The line between sanity and insanity is blurred in this classic novella by Anton Chekhov. The disillusioned idealist Dr. Rabin is in charge of a provincial lunatic asylum, overseeing with weary, dubious policies a motley group of patients, a group that mirrors in microcosm all of human and especially Russian society. Seeking answers to profound questions, Dr. Rabin enters into dialogues with both staff members and patients, trying to make sense out of what has become of his life, until it becomes less and less clear who is the doctor and who is the patient. Written with obvious reformist concerns about the dehumanization of "lunatics," the story is also a harrowing parable about the meaning of human existence.

First Page:

THE TALES OF CHEKHOV

VOLUME 10

THE HORSE STEALERS AND OTHER STORIES

BY

ANTON TCHEKHOV

Translated by CONSTANCE GARNETT

CONTENTS

THE HORSE STEALERS WARD NO. 6 THE PETCHENYEG A DEAD BODY A HAPPY ENDING THE LOOKING GLASS OLD AGE DARKNESS THE BEGGAR A STORY WITHOUT A TITLE IN TROUBLE FROST A SLANDER MINDS IN FERMENT GONE ASTRAY AN AVENGER THE JEUNE PREMIER A DEFENCELESS CREATURE AN ENIGMATIC NATURE A HAPPY MAN A TROUBLESOME VISITOR AN ACTOR'S END

THE HORSE STEALERS

A HOSPITAL assistant, called Yergunov, an empty headed fellow, known throughout the district as a great braggart and drunkard, was returning one evening in Christmas week from the hamlet of Ryepino, where he had been to make some purchases for the hospital. That he might get home in good time and not be late, the doctor had lent him his very best horse.

At first it had been a still day, but at eight o'clock a violent snow storm came on, and when he was only about four miles from home Yergunov completely lost his way.

He did not know how to drive, he did not know the road, and he drove on at random, hoping that the horse would find the way of itself... Continue reading book >>


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