Whether the text is a short story or a novel, the Slow Reading group is dedicated to reading great works of literature slowly, in order to more fully appreciate what makes them excellent. In this year's spring sessions, we'll be discussing stories by two great Russian writers: Anton Chekhov (often said to be the inventor of the modern short story) and Chekhov's own, talented predecessor Leo Tolstoy. Leading the discussions is Ellen Lambert, who has a Ph.D. from Yale in English and taught high-school English at The Dalton School for over 25 years.
January 24: Chekhov’s “Enemies” and “Gusev.” Note: All the readings by and about Chekhov can be found in Anton Chekhov's Selected Stories, edited by Cathy Popkin (Norton, 2014). For background: Aileen Kelly's essay “Chekhov the Subversive” (501-10) and “From Chekhov's Letters”: to his ne'er-do-well brother Nikolai (514-17); to his first patron Alexei Suvorin (523 and 526, 529, 535); and to his wife, the actress Olga Knipper (541-44).
February 14: Chekhov’s “Peasant Women” and “Sweetheart.”
February 28: Chekhov’s “On Official Business” and “In the Cart.”
March 14: Chekhov’s “The Name-Day Party.”
March 28: Chekhov’s “The Lady with the Little Dog.”
April 11: Chekhov’s “In the Ravine” (I-V, 428-48).
April 25: Chekhov’s “In the Ravine” (VI-IX, 448-61).
May 23: Tolstoy’s “The Death of Ivan Ilych” (VII-XII).