Thursday, January 5, 2012

Anton Chekhov's "The Wife"

My wife, standing still, watched my movements, looking out of the corner of her eyes without turning her head. She looked as though she thought I had a sharp knife or a revolver in my pocket.

5 comments:

  1. ...which is why her next move surprised me. I don't know where it came from, nor did I know what hit my neck until I fell onto the floor. She was kind enough to drop the bloody ax into the blood pooling by my face.

    I need to stop daring myself.

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  2. No, you don't! Be bold!

    What's happening in the story is worse than an axe murder: the husband and wife have lived in the same big country house for a long time, but for the last seven or so years they've lived on different floors, almost as strangers. The husband wants to fall back in love but he doesn't get along with his wife, and she's not interested in falling back in love anyway because he's really not such a great piece of work. He's meddlesome and self-important though of course he can't see that. She's presently giving a large late-night party that her husband didn't know about and isn't invited to. He has a strong urge to trample on her foot as hard as he can. She just wants him to go back upstairs. Things progress from there. Living in this sort of pain is worse than having your head cut off. Or at least I think Chekhov would argue that it is.

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  3. Oh, I remember this story now, I believe you posted something on this a few months back, but I had forgotten the name. I had saved it to word to read again.

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  4. Nevermind. It was 'The Party' I was thinking about.

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  5. "The Party" is a great story. Chekhov took all sorts of heat from the critics when it was published because now that he was a Serious and Respected Successful Writer, he should be writing about the great social questions of the day, not the day-to-day dishonesties of average people.

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