Books: Suppose He Had

THE PERSONAL PAPERS OF ANTON CHEKHOV (235 pp.)—Introduction by Matthew Josephson—Lear ($3).

To the admirers of a great writer, even his casual notes and scraps of abandoned work have a fascination; so Chekhov readers will pounce on this new collection of his notebooks, diaries and selected letters with delight. But even those outside the circle of initiates may find much solid pleasure in it.

From 1892 to 1904 Chekhov, then at the height of his fame, kept a set of unpretentious workbooks. In them he jotted judgments brief and sufficient as a child's ("He who tells lies is dirty"). He sketched ideas for...

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