Chekhov Shorts: Agafya

Title: Agafya
Date Read: 16th February 2010
Word Count: 4047
Briefly: Agafya is the young wife of the village signalman and she’s taken to sneaking off in the night to visit the desirable Savka, who is the watchman for the kitchen gardens of Dubovo. On the night that this story is set Agafya turns up in the middle of the darkness, as Savka and the narrator are enjoying the peace and tranquility with a spot of fishing.
Afterthoughts: Being somewhat wordier that it probably needs to be, this story seems to lumber on most of the time. It’s not that bad a tale however, and its ending is well worth sticking around for. What I love best about this story though is Chekhov’s incidental descriptions of the darkness as it gradually draws in. It’s very observant on the part of the author.
Notable Quote: In the darkness there was a muffled thud of timid footsteps, and the silhouette of a woman appeared out of the copse. I recognized her, although it was dark — it was Agafya. She came up to us diffidently and stopped, breathing hard. She was breathless, probably not so much from walking as from fear and the unpleasant sensation everyone experiences in wading across a river at night. Seeing near the shanty not one but two persons, she uttered a faint cry and fell back a step.

Rating: ★★★☆☆

*Story read as part of my Checkin’ 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).