How to Use

The Chekhov-Saunders Humanity Kit is a series of documents based on a class on Anton Chekhov’s Little Trilogy taught at Syracuse by George Saunders on October 31st, 2013. It is a do-it-yourself kit with a variety of optional parts provided: a syllabus, essays, papers, and a partial transcript of the class itself. Please begin by […]


A sense of personal freedom is quite indispensable. And this sense didn’t begin growing inside me until very recently. I had never had it before, replacing it quite successfully with frivolity, carelessness and a lack of respect for my work. What aristocratic writers take from nature gratis, the less privileged must pay for with their […]


The Man in a Shell Sarah Miller This story, the first in Chekhov’s little trilogy, is a story within a story — all the stories in the trilogy follow this format — about a teacher named Burkin and a veterinarian named Ivan Ivanych who stop and spend the night at the home of a friend […]

Syracuse Transcript

THE MAN IN THE SHELL (OR CASE, DEPENDING ON WHICH TRANSLATION YOU READ, BUT IT IS KIND OF INTERESTING HOW “SHELL” AND “CASE” MEAN ROUGHLY THE SAME THING IN RUSSIAN, APPARENTLY) So here are three frame stories, linked by various recurring characters. The first one opens with two men, one inside the barn, one outside; […]

Brooklyn Transcript

Proceedings of the Chekhov-Saunders Voltron/Humanity Kit Test Drive, held in Brooklyn on November 15th 2016. Participants: Sarah Miller (SM), Ryan Bradley (RB), David Lipsky (DL), and Maria Bustillos (MB). Sarah Miller is the author of Inside the Mind of Gideon Rayburn and The Other Girl and lives in Nevada City, CA. David Lipsky’s cultural history […]


Thursday in the Class With George It was a cold, gray October morning, misty and drizzling, when I arrived at Syracuse University’s Bowne Hall, a handsome three-story brick building that first opened for classes in 1907. The Syracuse campus is postcard gorgeous; literally a city on a hill, with beautifully-tended grounds and fine Victorian buildings […]