By Roald Dahl
First published in 1846, Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s novella The Double is a classic doppelganger and the second major work published by the author. It is the story of Yajov Petrovich Golyadkin, a government clerk who believes that a fellow clerk has taken over his identity and is determinded to bring about his ruin.
Considered the most Gogolesque of Dostoyevsky’s works, the novella brilliantly depicts Golyadkin’s descent into madness in a way that is hauntingly poetic. The Double illustrates Dostoyevsky’s uncanny ability at capturing the complexity of human emotion especially the darker side of the human psyche.
By Anton Chekov
These six stories — here presented in memorable new translations — represent Chekov’s narrative genius at the full range and power of its maturity. As masterfully constructed as his earlier stories but with far greater richness and dimension, they deal with human beings suffering the pain of existence, their lives illumined by the author’s rigorous objectivity.
The novella Ward Six, with its hauntingly symbolic depiction of the world of an insane asylum; The Duel, with its theme of moral degradation, its hint of regeneration; and A Dull Story, with its relentless depiction of a culture that corrupts and alienates … these and others present a vivid portrait of what Rufus W. Mathewson calls a “blighted” society, seen through the eyes of a writer whose understanding of “human foolishness” is without equal.