Publication Date: October 14, 2003
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First published in 1891, this morality tale pits a scientist, a government worker, his mistress, a deacon, and a physician against one another in a verbal battle of wits and ethics that explodes into a violent contest: the duel. When Laevsky, a lazy youth who works for the government, tires of his dependent mistress, Nadyezhda Fyodorovna, Von Koren, the scientist, delivers a scathing critique of Loevsky’s egotism, forcing the young man to examine his soul. The Duel is a tale of human weakness, the possibility of forgiveness, and a man’s ultimate ability to change his ways. It is classic Chekhov, revealing the multifaceted essence of human nature.
Aleksandar Hemon is the author of the acclaimed The Question of Bruno and Nowhere Man. He was born in Sarajevo in 1964 and moved to America in 1992. He lives in Chicago with his wife.
“Chekhov’s art . . . is dedicated to explicit and definitive portraiture and the muscular trajectory of whole lives.”—Cynthia Ozick