'Sis! Cesse, Lucette! We don't want any baby serpents around.'
'This baby serpent does not quite know what tone to take with Dr V.V. Sector.' (Ada, 2.5)
In his article on Chekhov's story Muzhiki (Peasants, 1897), Uzhasnye muzhiki (Terrible Peasants, 1897), N. Ladozhski (penname of V. K. Peterson) speaks of the author's "absolute composure of a vivisector:" сам автор как личность вполне отсутствует, изображая "полнейшее спокойствие вивисектора" (person of the author is completely absent [from his story], demonstrating "the absolute composure of a vivisector"). Like Van Veen, Chekhov was a doctor. Van is a terrapist (psychiatrist specializing in terrology, Terra being Demonia's twin planet). Some critics compared Chekhov's Muzhiki to Zola's La Terre.
Incidentally, today is Chekhov's 153d birthday.
Alexey Sklyarenko
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