Chekhov’s contemporaries wondered: What sort of Russian writer was he? He had no solution to the ultimate questions. With no “general idea” to teach, wasn’t he more like a talented Frenchman or Englishman born in the wrong place?

No country ever has valued literature more highly than Russia. When Tolstoy published Anna Karenina, Dostoevsky enthused that at last the existence of the Russian people had been justified! Can anyone imagine an English critic thinking England’s right to exist was in question or discovering it in Bleak House?

Nations, it seemed, live in order to produce great literature, and literature exists to reveal great truths. Science, philosophy, and the other arts are all very well, but nothing rivals poetry and fiction. For Russians, literature played the same role as Scripture did for the ancient Hebrews when it was still possible to add books to the Bible.

Boris Pasternak proclaimed: “a book is a squarish chunk of hot, smoking conscience—and nothing else!” The radical writer Nicholas Chernyshevsky explained that, whereas European countries have developed an intellectual “division of labor,” Russia concentrates its energies on literature:

For that reason . . . literature plays a greater role in our intellectual life than French, German, and English literature play in the intellectual life of their respective countries, and it bears greater responsibilities. . . . Russian literature has the direct duty of taking an interest in the subject matter that has elsewhere passed into the special competence of other fields of intellectual activity.

How many people can name a Russian philosopher, economist, or sociologist? The reason it is hard is that talented Russians with something to say wrote novels or, at least, literary criticism. If you had an idea about psychology, you would write a book on Dostoevsky. Philosophers of sex commented on Tolstoy.

Even today, Russians treat great writers as soothsayers. Historians cite Tolstoy’s rather fanciful portrait of General Kutuzov in War and Peace as if it were truer than any mere document. Above all, writers were expected to offer enlightenment, a word used with great reverence. Its opposite, mrakobesie (obscurantism, but literally “demon-darkness”), suggested pure evil. And then there was Chekhov, who was second only to Tolstoy among contemporaries, but had no special “tendency” or “idea.” Tolstoy preached Tolstoyanism, but there has never been any “Chekhovism.” Chekhov presented himself as a physician who made house calls and wrote hundreds of stories a year to pay the bills.

Chekhov was no aristocrat, as were Pushkin, Turgenev, and Tolstoy. He cultivated neither their refined manners nor the equally meticulous “anti-manners” of the radicals. Unlike Chernyshevsky and Stalin, he was neither a priest’s son nor a seminarian, the most typical origin for a radical. The son of a failed shopkeeper from a remote town, he was always unapologetically concerned with money, down to earth in his manners, and practical.

Chekhov never forgot that his grandfather had been a serf who had saved enough to buy his family’s freedom, but he refused to carry a chip on his shoulder. He spoke of self-pity and the consciousness of victimhood in a tone verging on disgust. Those emotions belonged to the servile consciousness he wanted to rise above. Already a well-known writer in his late twenties, Chekhov confided to his publisher Alexey Suvorin:

What gently born writers have been endowed with by nature, self-made intellectuals buy at the price of their youth. Write me a story about a young man, the son of a serf, a former shopkeeper . . . offering thanks for every morsel of bread, often whipped . . . fond of . . . playing the hypocrite before God and people without any cause, except out of a recognition of his own insignificance—and then tell how that young man squeezes the slave out of himself drop by drop and how he wakes up one fine morning and feels that in his veins flows not the blood of a slave, but of a real human being.

Understandably enough, Chekhov developed an uncompromising work ethic. As his tales and plays illustrate, Russians tended to value carelessness, idleness, and deliberate waste of resources, while regarding thrift as something fit for Germans. Chekhov saw in such attitudes the reason for Russia’s backwardness and self-righteous oppression of others. When he heard some Russians criticize the British exploitation of Hong Kong, he replied: “Yes, the English exploit the Chinese, the Sepoys, and the Hindus, but they do give them roads, aqueducts, museums, and Christianity; you exploit them too, but what do you give them?”

When Chekhov entered medical school, he spent his time studying, not engaging in politics. Believe it or not, the status “former student” was a badge of honor among intellectuals because it implied political expulsion, but Chekhov despised laziness disguised as moral superiority. No one ever had a keener nose for the fake.

What really set Chekhov apart from other intellectuals, including most today, were his openly petit-bourgeois values. I can think of no other great writer who so forthrightly defended middle-class virtues as a prerequisite for human dignity. Medicine suited him, not only because of his acute sensitivity to human suffering but also because of the high value it accorded to proper habits, respect for one’s surroundings, and, most bourgeois of all, good hygiene.

Chekhov wound up supporting not only his parents but also his siblings and their families. He used to reproach his talented brothers for their slovenly habits, for their casual attitude about sex, for wasting their gifts, and then, to top it off, for claiming to be oppressed. His famous letter to his brother Nikolai seems directed to all those advanced people, then and since, who disparage the “bourgeois”:

In my opinion people of culture must fulfill the following conditions:
1. They respect the human personality and are therefore forbearing, gentle, courteous, and compliant.
2. They are sympathetic not only to beggars and cats. Their heart aches for things they don’t see with the naked eye.
3. They respect the property of others, and therefore pay their debts.
4. They are pure of heart and therefore fear lying like fire. They do not lie even in small matters.
5. . . . They don’t play upon the heartstrings in order to excite pity . . . because all this is striving after cheap effect, and is false.
6. They don’t occupy themselves with such imitation diamonds as acquaintances with celebrities.
7. If they have talent, they respect it.
8. They develop an aesthetic taste. They cannot bring themselves to look with unconcern at a crack in the wall with bedbugs in it, breathe foul air, walk across a floor that has been spat on. . . . They try as far as possible to restrain and ennoble the sexual instinct. . . . They don’t swill vodka . . . For they need to have mens sana in corpore sano.
It is not enough to have memorized a monologue from Faust. . . .
What you need is constant work, and will power.

Pay one’s debts? Be courteous? Clean up after oneself? Aren’t great writers supposed to disparage such trivialities?

In Chekhov’s novella The Duel, the hero Laevsky, a cultured man with immense charm, misbehaves in all these false ways while considering himself “the destined victim of the age.” Sometimes it is hard not to sympathize with the social Darwinist van Koren, who wants to improve humanity by killing Laevsky in a duel. And yet, strangely enough, Laevsky’s brush with death, along with the discovery that his lover has been unfaithful, makes a new man of him. Even van Koren can hardly believe how devoted to hard work his enemy grows.

Surrendering his pose of intellectual superiority, Laevsky behaves more kindly to his neighbors, not just to “beggars and cats.” He takes his life in hand, not because he has discovered some great truth like the heroes of other Russian novels, but because he realizes he never will. The novella ends: “ ‘Nobody knows the real truth,’ thought Laevsky, turning up the collar of his overcoat and thrusting his hands in his sleeves. . . . A light rain began to fall.” It is as if his gestures acknowledge the perpetual inclemency and uncertainty of human life.

Was there ever a great writer to whom cleanliness meant so much? Chekhov’s characters often begin to understand their mistaken choices when they experience revulsion at sheer filth. The heroine of “The Grasshopper” considers her husband a good, kind, and intelligent man, so much so that he bores her. Such a limited person, she reasons, cannot reasonably object to her infidelity with charismatic literary lions and artists. She at last doubts herself when she watches her lover eat:

Just then the servant woman came up to him holding a plate of cabbage soup carefully in both hands, and Olga Ivanovna noticed that her thick thumbs were wet with the soup. And the dirty woman with her skirt drawn tight over her stomach, the cabbage soup, which Ryabovsky fell upon eagerly, the hut, this life which had at first seemed so delightful in its simplicity and artistic disorder, now struck her as appalling.

Who but Chekhov would have made an understanding of life turn on the perception of dirty fingers in some soup? The heroine barely recognizes the importance of her disgust, and her changed understanding depends on no dramatic action, but, in only a moment, what looked like “artistic disorder” has begun to turn her stomach.

Readers who expect revelations to follow dramatic events often miss the key moments in Chekhov stories. A small lie, a minor cruelty, or a forgotten kindness, often accompanied by a slovenly habit, may provoke unwelcome self-discovery. There is nothing like realizing that people see you not as glamorous or romantic, but in need of clean underwear.

The heroine of The Duel sees herself as an enchanting, fallen woman, like Anna Karenina, until her friend disabuses her. “Forgive me, my dear, but you are not clean in your person. When we met in the bathhouse, you made me shudder. . . . Your house is dreadful, simply dreadful! No one else in town has flies, but you can’t get rid of them, your plates and saucers are black with them. . . . And one is embarrassed to go into your bedroom.” The heroine replies, habitually but now shakily, “All that isn’t worth bothering about. . . . If only I were happy, but I’m so unhappy!” Of course, her slovenliness, along with the slack behavior and thought connected to it, is the reason for her unhappiness.

In 1890, Chekhov traveled to the prison island of Sakhalin to write a sort of sociological survey. In Sakhalin Island he focuses not on the sadistic horrors already familiar from Dostoevsky’s novel The House of the Dead, but on the dirt, grime, and stench which both prisoners and government officials shrug off. We recognize Chekhov the doctor when he decides to “devote a few words to the latrines”:

As everyone knows, this accommodation is located in full sight of the overwhelming majority of Russian houses. . . . At monasteries, fairs, inns . . . they are absolutely disgusting. Disdain for privies has also been carried to Siberia by the Russians. . . . it is obvious that these latrines were the cause of nauseating stenches and of diseases, and it is equally obvious that the prisoners and the prison administrators became easily reconciled to this.

In one settlement, he is lodged in a garret because of the cockroaches swarming below:

When I descended to get some tobacco . . . it seemed as though the walls and ceiling were covered with black crepe, which stirred as if blown by a wind. From the rapid and disorderly movements of portions of the crepe you could guess the composition of this boiling, seething mass. You could hear rustling and a loud whispering, as if the insects were hurrying off somewhere and carrying on a conversation.

Chekhov adds that although the people of Sakhalin attribute the roaches to the moss used for caulking, the source is really the people themselves.

Friends reproached Chekhov for such petty concerns. Whenever there was a diamond in the rough, Chekhov focused on the rough. Or as one woman asked about his story “The Mire,” why not ignore the “muck heap” and display the “pearl”? Chekhov replied that the aim of literature should be to depict “life as it actually is. . . . A man of letters must be as objective as a chemist . . . and realize that dung heaps play a very respectable role in a landscape.” One reason Chekhov’s landscapes and interiors feel uncommonly real is that you can smell them.

For the intelligentsia, “life as it actually is” was not enough. The point was to change the world, and to do so one needed the right philosophy and politics. Chekhov not only did not share the requisite political views, he regarded any demand for intellectual conformity as another form of serfdom.

The intelligentsia demanded a particularly crude materialism. Thoroughly devoted to science, Chekhov nevertheless was repelled by the pseudo-scientific reduction of morality and creativity to brain activity. Today’s new atheists speak of “neuro-ethics” and “neuro-aesthetics;” their counterparts in Chekhov’s day quoted Molleschot’s dictum that the brain secretes thought the way the liver secretes bile. “It’s always good to think scientifically,” Chekhov replied skeptically. “The trouble is that thinking scientifically about art will inevitably end up degenerating into a search for the ‘cells’ or ‘centers’ in charge of creative ability, whereupon some dull-witted German will discover them somewhere in the temporal lobes.”

Chekhov also denied that science disproves free will and the individual personhood. On the contrary, respect for the person was a supreme value for Chekhov, and he believed in will power, not in spite of but precisely because of the hereditary and social pressures against which people struggle. To claim otherwise is not to practice hardheaded science but to excuse swinishness.

Though not religious, Chekhov often depicted religion at its best, which, for him, meant it could revivify a person’s sense of the world. Some have judged “The Student” as his most perfect tale, which describes a young, future clergyman lashed by a sudden cold wind that seemed as if it “had destroyed the order and harmony of things, that nature itself felt ill at ease, and that was why . . . everything was deserted and peculiarly gloomy.” As he shivers, he thinks that just such a wind must have blown in the time of Ivan the Terrible and that, then as now, “there had been just the same desperate poverty and hunger, the same . . . ignorance, misery, desolation. . . . all these had existed, did exist, and would exist and the lapse of a thousand years would make life no better.”

The hero finds himself at the fire of an old woman and her daughter. Since it is Good Friday, he begins to tell them the story of another cold night, when Peter thrice denied Christ. For personal reasons never revealed, the old woman is deeply moved, “not because he could tell the story touchingly but because Peter was near to her, because her whole being was interested in what was passing in Peter’s soul.” Now joy seizes the student: “ ‘The past,’ he thought, ‘is linked with the present by an unbroken chain of events flowing one out of another.’ And it seemed to him that . . . when he touched one end of that chain the other quivered.’ ” Everything visible in the world remains as it was, but his perception of it as a whole has altered. Chekhov often narrates how a small incident allows one to discern things unseen by “the naked eye.”

The intelligentsia, of course, deemed such thinking reactionary “demon-darkness.” Anyone who views Chekhov as a mild man incapable of sarcasm or intellectual combat should read his replies to their demands for propaganda. Attacked for not condemning the conservative in “The Name-Day Party,” he called his critics “pseudo-intellectuals . . . pale, untalented, wooden ignoramuses with nothing in their heads or hearts . . . sticking labels on their forehead.” Then there’s “the sort of faded, inert mediocrity who . . . picked up five or six of someone else’s ideas, stuffed and mounted them, and will keep mumbling them doggedly until he dies.”

Chekhov reacted with special hostility to people offering the “friendly advice” that he cease publishing in Suvorin’s conservative New Times. He describes one young lady, “a good, pure soul,” who never read New Times and based her condemnation solely on the word of its enemies. Unfazed by this exposure, she simply “wiggled her fingers, and said, ‘In a word, I strongly advise you to leave it.’ ” Chekhov reflects:

Yes, our young ladies and political beaux are pure souls, but nine-tenths of their pure souls aren’t worth a damn. All their inactive sanctity and purity are based on hazy and naïve sympathies and antipathies to individuals and labels, not to facts. It’s easy to be pure when you hate the Devil you don’t know and love the God you wouldn’t have brains enough to doubt.

For Chekhov, this is just lying, the sort one should “fear like fire.” He saw the intelligentsia’s “second censorship” as dangerous and feared that, someday, “under the banner of science, art, and oppressed free thinking in Russia, such toads and crocodiles will rule in ways not known even at the time of the Inquisition in Spain.” He had no way of knowing they would prove far worse.

A letter to his liberal publisher Alexey Pleshcheev, which contains Chekhov’s most famous rejection of “tendency,” has entered the Russian literary canon. The critic Kornei Chukovsky, who survived in the Soviet period by writing children’s literature, described it as “a gauntlet flung in the face of an entire age, a rebellion against everything it held sacred.”

It could have been written yesterday. “The people I am afraid of are those who look between the lines for tendentiousness,” Chekhov explained, whereas “I am neither liberal, nor conservative, nor gradualist, nor monk, nor indifferentist. I would like to be a free artist and nothing else.” Singling out two prominent leftist journalists as particularly odious, he offers his credo:

I hate lies and violence in all their forms. . . . Pharisaism, dull-wittedness, and tyranny reign not only in merchants’ homes and police stations. I see them in science, in literature, among the younger generation. . . . I look upon tags and labels as prejudices. My holy of holies is the human body, health, intelligence, talent, inspiration, love, and the most absolute freedom imaginable, freedom from violence and lies, no matter what form the latter two may take.

Chekhov was sure he hated political tendencies, but, for a few years, he wavered about philosophical ones. He flirted with Tolstoyanism, attracted not by its pacifism or puritanical morality, but by its compelling sense of the vanity of human effort. Although he soon outgrew this attraction, he still worried that he had no “general idea.” He consoled himself that artists should precisely formulate questions, not advocate answers, but he suspected that was like a doctor satisfied with diagnosis.

From roughly 1887 to 1892, Chekhov fretted about this problem. Receiving an award from the Academy of Sciences in 1888, he lamented to Grigorovich, the writer who first recognized Chekhov’s talent: “I still do not have a firm political, religious, and philosophical outlook: I change it monthly, and therefore I’m compelled to limit myself to the description of how heroes love, marry, produce children, die, and how they speak.” It is not hard to detect layers of irony in this description of a “limit,” and yet the self-criticism is also partly serious.

“Enemies” (1887) apparently initiates the search for a “general idea” worthy of narrative. It describes a doctor Kirillov, whose son has just died, comforting his grieving wife as his face displays “that subtle, almost elusive beauty of human sorrow.” The wealthy Abogin arrives to beg the doctor to visit his dying wife, and the doctor, with extreme reluctance, at last recognizes he has no choice. When they finally arrive, it turns out Abogin’s wife has feigned illness to get rid of her husband and escape with her lover. As Abogin cries and opens his heart to the doctor “with perfect sincerity,” Kirillov notices the luxurious surroundings, the violoncello case that bespeaks higher cultural status, and reacts wrathfully. He shouts that he is the victim who deserves sympathy because a sacred moment has been ruined for nothing. “With that profound and somewhat cynical, ugly contempt only to be found in the eyes of sorrow and indigence” when confronted with “well-nourished comfort,” Kirillov surrenders to righteous rage. Each man feels, justly, that he has been wronged by the other, and neither receives the understanding he deserves. We feel they could have chosen instead to empathize, but, as the author explains, “the egoism of the unhappy was conspicuous in both. The unhappy are egoistic, spiteful, unjust, cruel, and less capable of understanding each other than fools. Unhappiness does not bring people together but draws them apart.”

Humanitarian notions to the contrary, unhappiness renders us cruel. Then what is real happiness, and how do we find it?

The story “Happiness” (1887) describes two shepherds talking to an overseer about fabulous treasure buried somewhere in the vast Russian steppe. We recognize the men’s search for treasure as an allegory on the quest for true happiness.

The old shepherd and the overseer exchange stories about people actually discovering a treasure but not realizing it because some magic makes it invisible. “Your elbow is near, but you can’t bite it. There is fortune, but there is not the wit to find it,” remarks the overseer. Then, the old man asks, what good is such treasure? And why should it exist at all?: “it is just riches wasted . . . like chaff or sheep’s dung, and yet there are riches there . . . but not a soul sees it.” At last Sanka, the young shepherd, asks the old one what he would do with the treasure if he ever found it, but the old man cannot answer. This inability raises another question for Sanka: “why was it old men searched for hidden treasure, and what was the use of earthly happiness to people who might die any day of old age?”

As the story ends, the young man ponders not on the fortune, “but on the fantastic, fairy-tale character of human happiness.” We imagine we do not know how to achieve happiness, but we do not even know what it is, and probably never will. A thousand years would pass, the narrator muses, and “no soul would ever know . . . what secret of the steppes was hidden there.”

Chekhov’s best-known novella devoted to such mysteries is A Boring Story (1889), a title chosen by the story’s ironic and self-absorbed hero. He begins: “There lives in Russia a certain Honored Professor Nikolai Stepanovich, privy councilor and knight, who has received so many decorations, both Russian and foreign, that when he has occasion to wear them all, his students call him ‘the icon stand.’ ” This highly successful professor seemingly has nothing to ask for, and yet, as he approaches death, experiences utter despair. His family disappoints him, for no particular reason, and he finds himself escaping to visit his ward Katya, a girl he remembers as a child—enthusiastic about everything—but who has grown as unhappy as he. At one point, she offers him all her money, not because he needs it, but as a way to reach out to the only one she loves. He refuses, but we realize it would have been less selfish to accept. At the story’s end, she visits him to beg for some answer to the despair she feels at life’s pointlessness. He has nothing to say, and as she leaves forever, he can only think: “so you won’t be at my funeral?”

Nikolai Stepanovich imagines that he suffers and cannot help Katya because in his many ideas about science, philosophy, and himself, “there is no common element, nothing that would unify them into a whole. Each thought and feeling exists in isolation . . . even the most skilled analyst would be unable to find what is called a general idea. . . . And without that there is nothing.” Chekhov was making the same demand of himself, but here he shows that a unifying idea is not at all what the old man needs.

Writing to Pleshcheev, Chekhov suggests what the professor is missing. Pleshcheev had complained that readers know little about the other characters. How else could it be, Chekhov replies, when we hear the whole tale from the professor’s point of view, and “one of my hero’s chief characteristics is that he cares too little about the inner life of those who surround him. . . . Were he a different sort of man, Liza [his daughter] and Katya might not have come to grief.” The professor thinks Katya requires a philosophical principle, but she really needs him to empathize with her “inner life.” His thought of his funeral, rather than of her living soul, represents a missed opportunity for both of them.

People have the wrong ideas about ideas. They think that, to live right, one needs the correct abstractions, but more often ideas get in the way. In “The Name-Day Party” (1888), a husband given to endless political argument exasperates his wife, who goes into premature labor and loses the child. “Olya,” he sobs as the story ends, “I don’t care about property qualifications, or circuit courts or about any particular views. . . . I don’t care about anything! Why didn’t we take care of our child?” Enlightenment is not through, but away from, ideas.

Enlightenment away from ideas provides the controlling metaphor of “Lights” (1888). Some lights only darken. Chekhov realized that, like the student sensing St. Peter, we need not solve some riddle to appreciate the world’s mystery.

The surer we become that we have gotten to the bottom of things, the more likely we are to be mistaken and, either by cruelty or neglect, to cause real harm. As “Lights” begins, the engineer, Ananyev, and his assistant, Baron von Schtenberg, gaze at the railroad they have been constructing. An endless sequence of evenly spaced lights trails off into the distance. The older man sees valuable work, the younger one only pointless activity. The narrator, a traveler there by chance, feels “as though some weighty secret were buried under the embankment and only the lights, the night, and the wires knew of it.”

The lights remind the baron of the campfires of the Amalekites and the Philistines as they prepared to battle Saul and David. This association suggests to him not a mystical connection with the past, but the futility of human effort. “Once Philistines and Amalekites were living in this world . . . and now no trace of them remains. So it will be with us. Now we are making a railway and standing here philosophizing, but two thousand years will pass—and of this embankment and of all those men . . . not one grain will remain.” The narrator begins to understand the baron’s “slightly ironical” face, his figure “expressive of spiritual stagnation,” and the listlessness of his attitude to work and morals.

“I hate those ideas with all my heart!,” Ananyev replies. It seems that he, too, once entertained “thoughts of the aimlessness of life, of the insignificance and transitoriness of the visible world, and Solomon’s ‘vanity of vanities,’ ” along with materialist notions denying free will and the dignity of the individual person. These beliefs led him to commit a disgraceful act that common decency would have forestalled.

As a young man visiting his home town, Ananyev desired a quick affair. While there he unexpectedly comes across Kisochka, a woman he had known as a schoolboy. She has become a deep, sensitive, and truthful woman. Married to a shallow and vulgar man, she is miserable but blames no one. Ananyev sees his chance. Reminding Kisochka he always loved her, and swearing to devote his life to her, he seduces her, and then sneaks out of town. For her, the moment of love constitutes “a complete revolution in life,” whereas for him it means nothing. He readily justifies the deception. After all, “there is no such thing as free will and therefore I was not to blame”; neither she nor anyone else has any real self; and, in any case, “life has no meaning” and her grief is trivial in comparison with endless time.

And yet, for the first time, Ananyev senses in these sophisticated ideas an unspeakable shabbiness. No reasoning could disguise that “I had committed a crime as bad as murder.” And so the incident turns out to be a revolution in his life as well. Evidently, he lived differently from then on. The narrator notices small signs that he cherishes his family, “in all probability is tenderly loved by his wife,” and exhibits the “calm imperturbable good humor often acquired by decent people” living a decent life.

Ananyev has not adopted the opposite of his former views. Rather, he has changed his attitude to views as such. Unexpectedly, he does not reject the idea of Ecclesiastes as false, just inappropriate for anyone but an experienced old man. Then it can rest “upon a Christian foundation because it is derived from love of humanity . . . and is entirely free from the egoism” of youthful intellectual dilettantes. He tells the baron: “You despise life because its meaning and its object are hidden from you and are afraid only of your own death, while the real thinker is unhappy because the truth is hidden from all and he is afraid for all men.”

The lights reminding the baron of the Amalekites suggest to Ananyev the “thoughts of man. . . . You know the thoughts of each individual man are scattered like that in disorder . . . and without shedding light on anything, without lighting up the night, they vanish somewhere far beyond old age.” The narrator agrees. Placing one’s faith in ideas is chasing the darkness. As he rides away, the narrator concludes that “in this world you can’t figure things out.”

This ending disturbed the critics and was clearly meant to. Chekhov had slowly worked his way beyond the need for an abstract idea. Now he confidently replied to the story’s critics:

It’s about time that everyone who writes—especially genuine literary artists—admitted that “in this world you can’t figure things out.” . . . The crowd thinks it knows and understands everything; the stupider it is, the broader it imagines its outlook. But, if a writer whom the crowd believes takes it upon himself to declare that he understands nothing of what he sees, that alone will constitute a major gain in the realm of thought and a major step forward.

This article originally appeared in The New Criterion, Volume 31 Number 3 , on page 20
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