Friday, March 18, 2016

The Lady with the Dog

As I mentioned in last Tuesday's post, after finishing Mikhail Bulgakov's The Master and Margarita I decided to stay on a Russian theme and began reading volume one of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn's, The Gulag Archipelago.

Solzhenitsyn's book is quite remarkable, but I can only read relatively small portions at a time. His description of the tortures the inmates had to endure is difficult for me to take. I'm still working my way through the book, but I am going back and forth between it and other reading material in order to keep my sanity.

At one point, Solzhenitsyn makes reference to Anton Chekhov. I hadn't read any of Chekhov's work - surprising since I been filling my brain with Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, Gogol and Bulgakov. Chekhov now became another Russian author I'd want to read.

Of course, all of Constance Garnett's translations of his short stories are available at Project Gutenberg, but the problem for me was where to begin? According to wikipedia, Chekov's  The Lady with the Dog is considered by some as one of the greatest short stories ever written. I can't argue with that, but it does bother me that Chekov ends the story without a resolution to the problem involving the two main characters. When the story ended, and the next page in my e book turned to A Doctors Visit, I was a little confused. When I realized I had actually come to the end of the story, I was disappointed.
In spite of that disappointment, I'll continue with the volume of Chekov's short stories in between my portions of Solzhenitsyn.

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