My Life (novella)

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My Life
AuthorAnton Chekhov
Original titleМоя жизнь
Publication date

My Life (Russian: Моя жизнь, romanizedMoya zhizn') is an 1896 novella by Anton Chekhov, set in a provincial southern Russian city like Chekhov's own hometown of Taganrog.[1]

Publication history[edit]

The novella first appeared in the October–December, Nos. 10–12, 1896 issues of the Monthly Literary Supplement to Niva magazine.[2] Revised by the author, it was included into the Suvorin-published collection Peasants and My Life, to be reproduced, unchanged, in all of its 7 editions (1897–1899). With some additional changes edits Chekhov included in into Volume 9 of his Collected Works, published in 1899–1901 by Adolf Marks.[2]


Chekhov started working upon the novella in February 1896 and finished it in the late July of that year. There was some disagreement about the title. Chekhov hated "My Life" (in particular, the 'my' bit of it) and suggested that it should be called "In the Nineties" (В 90-х годах) instead. The Niva's editor Alexey Tikhonov-Lugovoy thought that was "too retro-sounding, as if it were some kind of memoirs", so the author decided against further arguing.[2]


  1. ^ James N. Loehlin The Cambridge Introduction to Chekhov 2010 1139493523 p.92 "In addition to “The Steppe” and “The Duel” (1888 and 1891), his longest works include three stories from the Melikhovo period: “The Story of an Unknown Man” (completed in 1893), “Three Years” (1895), and “My Life” (1896). ...... “My Life” focuses on the dreary provinciality of a southern Russian city very like Chekhov's hometown of Taganrog. In their different milieux, all three stories ask, but don't clearly answer, questions about how Russians should live their lives."
  2. ^ a b c Muratova, K. D. Commentaries to Моя жизнь. The Works by A.P. Chekhov in 12 volumes. Khudozhestvennaya Literatura. Moscow, 1960. Vol. 8, pp.516-524

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