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From the translator's note when this book was originally published in 1921: "The contents of this volume have not previously been translated into English. The first section consists of Tchekhov's Note-books, in which, from 1892 to 1904, he jotted down thoughts, quotations, etc., which were the raw materials of his writings. The second section - Themes, Thoughts, Notes, and Fragments - was found among his papers, written on sheets in a special cover with that title. It contains material somewhat more elaborated than that in the Note-books. It was his habit, if he used any of this material, to strike it out in the Note-books. Both the Note-books and the Themes were first published in Russia in a volume of Tchekhov's literary remains in 1914. We have added some reminiscences of Tchekhov by Gorky, which appeared in Russia in 1906, but which have not been translated into English."