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I finally understand why Chekhov has earned the title of undisputable master of the short story. He is a genius of brevity. Never had I encountered such eloquent, detailed descriptions, both physical and psychological, of characters in so few lines.
The seven stories in this volume put their emphasis on the gentry or on the professional class, with a preeminent recurrence of doctors as protagonists, which might have a direct correlation to Chekhov’s real life experiences, for he graduated in med
What most struck me about Chekhov’s narrative voice is the biting realism of the sketches he so dexterously portrays. They are horrifying precisely because of their familiarity, which is so reminiscent of everyday life. Empathizing character over plot, with a terse, almost laconic style, he evokes the complexities of the human psyche with a full palette of thematic patterns: lunacy, unfaithfulness, boredom, the tediousness that ails the accommodated middle class… he brings it all with an economy of language that leaves the reader rather stunned by time the plotline reaches a generally anti-dramatic conclusion, something that differs from other Russian writers like Tolstoy or Dostoevsky. Instead, there is a deadly tension in everything that has consciously been left unsaid until it’s too late to put amends to sloth, pride, delusional idealizations or merely the unfair business that life is.
Failure at communication between the flawed characters, which get transfigured from hero to villain in the span of a few pages, is at the core of the dissatisfying existence they lead.
Religion is treated with an incredulousness that borders distrust, just like art and the creative process, which are superficial means to escape a rather grey reality.
The action takes place in anonymous towns or cities and food holds a place of honor in almost every story.
Women are presented as deluded victims with second-rate minds that end up tricked by their misconceptions on love, passion and desire.
There is no preaching or overly moralizing undertone in Chekhov’s fluctuating prose, and yet one can’t ignore the careful symmetry, the sharp irony and self-criticism that permeate his stories.
In looking back to past memories, usually through the rose-tinted glasses of childhood, or in looking forward to a better future that won’t ever materialize, the characters of Chekhov’s haunting tales reflect an erratic, imperfect world where inabilities timidly blossom, only to gradually expand among those who care about them until they die a natural death that showcase their latent insignificance.
Cynicism dulls the pain, the narrator of “An anonymous story” warns the reader. Chekhov wasn’t a cynic, but he didn’t allow himself the luxury of living a parallel life made of false illusions. He was too observant, too pragmatic and too deliciously inconsistent and in love with aesthetics to indulge himself in such luxury.
To be different is a disease… On the grey background you must be grey otherwise they will see you and you will be eaten.
My only illness is that in twenty years I’ve found only one intelligent man in the whole town, and he’s mad. There is no illness at all, I simply got into a magic circle that I can’t get out of. It makes no difference to me, I’m ready for everything.
Ward No. 6 seems to be the most merciless and dark story by Anton Chekhov. With his sharp eye he could see any psychological quirk
really liked it
Ward No. 6 and Other Stories, Anton Chekhov
تاریخ نخستین خوانش: بیست و یکم ماه آوریل سال 2010 میلادی
عنوان: اتاق شماره 6 و چند داستان دیگر؛ نویسنده: آنتون چخوف؛ مترجم: کاظم انصاری؛ تهران، ناهید، 1383، در 246 ص؛ شابک: 9646205488؛ چاپ پنجم 1386؛ چاپ ششم 1387؛ موضوع: داستانهای کوتاه از نویسندگان روسیه قرن 19 م
مجموعه هفت داستان کوتاه : اتاق شماره 6؛ به دنبال خدمت ؛ درباره عشق؛ کالای جاندار؛ داستان نقاش ؛ اندوه ؛ و خودکشی
اتاق شماره شش داستان ماجراهای دکتر و پنج بیماری است که در اتاق شماره ی 6 بیمارستان