Friday, September 28, 2007

Lunchtime read: The Steppe and Other Stories

This blog is slowly turning into a confessional littered with excuses for why reading has not been done. The excuse today however is a genuine one with some weight. It was my son’s third birthday and when I would have normally have been sitting with a nose in a book I was lying prostrate with my nose stuck in the ridge between two panels of a bouncy castle. My son believing that he could bounce over me decided to make me try it and if a definition of a clear jump includes being hit in the stomach by a pair of flailing feet then he is of Olympic standard.

Anyway at this pace I’ll be reading Chekhov forever but here are some more highlights from The Steppe

Having waited for his Uncle and the priest to wake up Yegorushka and the travellers move on and the uncle is desperate to catch up with a rival businessman. They stop at a hotel but announce much to the owner’s displeasure that they are not staying. There then follows a description of the owners of the hotel, which borders on the anti-Semitic and is not pleasant to read. But the upshot of the exchanges are that the uncle has a great deal of money, the priest is selling wool on behalf of his son who is not much of a businessman and the focus of a lot of anger and jealously is a merchant named Varlamov.

More tomorrow…

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