A Dreary Story is an 1889 novel by Anton Chekhov, subtitled "From the Notebooks of an Old Man". Nikolai Stepanovich, a luminary in the world of medical science, tormented by insomnia and bouts of devastating weakness, lives in a kind of darkening haze. He tries to analyze the reasons for his rapid physical and psychological decline in the face of unspecified illness and (according to his own premonition), imminent death in the course of the next six months. The world around him feels increasingly alien, and watching his beloved Liza and Katya (daughter and step-daughter, respectively) suffering, he is unable to emotionally connect with them, being totally disoriented and numbed by problems of his own.

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