Again not really lunchtime but it has been a busy day with the family because it is Good Friday and as s result a chance not to go into work. There has also been glorious sunshine in London, which made staying in with a book impossible. But when finally I cam inside and grabbed Chekhov it was definitely worth it.
The Man in a Case
A very reserved Greek teacher who carries his life round with him in his case is encouraged to believe that it might be possible to marry a new teacher’s sister but he becomes upset at the thought people are laughing at him and after falling down the stairs in front of the woman in question and with her laughter in her ears he goes home takes to bed and dies within a month. But as the teacher who is telling the story about him reveals even without the diligent stickler of the rules things continued to be oppressive.
The hard world of an orphan is illustrated with a boy writing at Christmas to his only living relative his grand father asking him to take him away from his position working for a shoemaker who beats him and lets him lead a lonely and hard life. The boy posts the letter and then falls asleep dreaming of his grandfather reading it.
Two soldiers come are escorting a vagrant who refuses to give them his name but he reveals that he is the illegitimate son of a nobleman and escaped from hard labour in Siberia where he was serving along with his mother for being an accomplice to his master’s death. He dreams of being sent to Eastern Siberia where he would be given land, a home and freedom to stay in exile. The soldiers jealous of the picture he paints tell him he would never get there because of is frailty and drag him back into town.
The Death of an Official
An official goes to the opera and sneezes on a general in front of him and tries to apologise but the more he tries the more he gets the general, who is trying to brush off the incident annoyed, but after the third attempt the general loses his temper and tells the official to get out, which he does and heads home lies down and promptly dies.
More of that sort of stuff tomorrow…