Anton Chekhov: Chernyi monakh [The Black Monk]

(1011 words)

Chekhov's tale (of about thirty pages) Chernyi monakh [The Black Monk], published in 1894, was – out of the masses of stories that he wrote – his only psychic-Gothic tale.I t is concerned with madness, with music, and with the Gothic-style fall of a house and garden. However, it is – most strikingly perhaps – a story in which a supposedly legendary black monk manifests himself mysteriously, through the ages and across the heavens, to reach an increasingly demented academic.

Andrey Kovrin, a philosopher in his thirties, who is on the verge of a nervous breakdown, follows medical advice and travels to the country to recuperate at the estate of his former guardian, a leading …

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Cornwell, Neil. "Chernyi monakh". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 25 February 2007
[, accessed 02 July 2015.]