“Chekhov Shorts”: Minds in Ferment

Title: Minds in Ferment
Date Read: 09 November 2008
Word Count: 1356
Briefly: Treasury clerk Potcheshihin, and Optimov, correspondent of the Son of the Fatherland newspaper, are strolling through the market-place when their attention becomes focused on the whereabouts of a flock of starlings. Appearing to have settled in the garden of Father Prebendary’s house, the pair stare onto the house, soon attracting a crowd of curious onlookers, and a plethora of hearsay.
Afterthoughts: Despite finding the translation on this story to be quite awkward, I still found this to be quite an entertaining and humorous story. Chekhov plays with human curiosity, that strange sense of nosiness that comes over us when we see a crowd assembled for no apparent reason. Chekhov also plays with that ‘dangerous game’ of Chinese Whispers which makes for quite an entertaining outcome.
Notable Quote: “Three old pilgrim women, wearing bark shoes and carrying wallets, passed noiselessly by the speakers. Looking enquiringly at the gentlemen who were for some unknown reason staring at the Father Prebendary’s house, they slackened their pace, and when they were a few yards off stopped, glanced at the friends once more, and then fell to gazing at the house themselves.”

Rating: ★★★★☆

*Story read as part of my Checking Off The Chekhov Shorts reading challenge.

About Rob

Rob, a self-confessed bibliophile, is without any hope of rehabilitation. He gets unnaturally excited over anything book-shaped, and if book sniffing were a crime then he would have been locked up years ago (which wouldn't bother him in the slightest provided his cell was lined with books).