As you can see, it was the custom both in East and West to eat up the stuff before Lent that you couldn’t eat during, and to confess your sins before Lent began. (But Orthodox Lent really begins on “Clean Monday” (Feb. 19 this year), so really this is a story about the Sunday before Lent begins. Eat your pancakes and paczki, and go bug the dead translators.)
One of Russia's greatest writers, Chekhov began his career writing jokes and anecdotes for popular magazines to support himself while he studied to become a doctor. Between 1888 and his death he single-handedly revolutionized both the drama and the short story. Near the end of his life he married an actress, Olga Knipper. He died from tuberculosis in 1904, age 44.
Although best known in the West for his plays (The Cherry Orchard, etc.), Chekhov also wrote over 200 short stories as well as longer works. Public domain translations of them all are available on the Net; here’s a prime site for them - . 201 Stories by Anton Chekhov - http://chekhov2.tripod.com/
this translation by Marian Fell at Eldritch Press - http://www.eldritchpress.org/ac/shrovetu.htm