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Tom 177 (2023): Wielkie tematy kultury w literaturach słowiańskich 15. Zaraza

W obliczu choroby — tyfus w opowiadaniach Antoniego Czechowa

27 grudnia 2022


The article describes the experiences of Chekhov’s characters with typhus and their feelings towards it. Its main goal is to present how the disease determines the patient’s experiences and changes his attitude to the world around him. The analysis centres around three short stories: Typhus, The Bishop and Rothschild’s Violin. In the first two works, the narrator draws attention to the physical experiences of the suffering protagonists. The sensory experience, which determines the emotions and mindset of patients, is brought to the fore. Apart from lust, the writer represents their state of consciousness. In Rothschild’s Violin and The Bishop, illness prompts the heroes to reflect on the life they have lived and to evaluate it. In all the texts analyzed, Chekhov’s interest lies in the physical symptoms of the disease and the state of the patient’s psyche, the differences between the healthy and suffering person’s perception of the world, the idea of life at a turning point and the attitude displayed by diseased people towards death.