The Duel is one of Chekhov’s longest works, skirting the edge between novel and novella. Like many of Chekhov’s works, it was first published as a serial.
Laevsky is a womanizing drunkard, a slave to life’s vices. His wantonness clashes with the moralistic zoologist Von Koren, who grows to despise Laevsky. Their mutual enmity culminates in a duel—though neither they, nor their friends, really want it to happen.