Chekhov Shorts: Ivan Matveyitch

Title: Ivan Matveyitch
Date Read: 2nd February 2010
Word Count: 2063
Briefly: Frustrated with the persistent lateness of his young male secretary Ivan Matveyitch, the ‘man of learning’ (for he has no other name) is determined to let his young secretary know that he isn’t too happy.
Afterthoughts: This story is quite enjoyable actually. Not the best story ever from Chekhov, but certainly good enough to be highly recommended. And the one thing that makes this story so highly recommended, is that it’s subtle in its charm and really rather warming. It perhaps demonstrates more than anything, the pleasures that come from learning and the fact that the opportunity to learn can come from any source.
Notable Quote: “Listen, Katya,” he says in an indignant voice. “If you see Pyotr Danilitch, tell him that decent people don’t do such things. It’s abominable! He recommends a secretary, and does not know the sort of man he is recommending! The wretched boy is two or three hours late with unfailing regularity every day. Do you call that a secretary? Those two or three hours are more precious to me than two or three years to other people. When he does come I will swear at him like a dog, and won’t pay him and will kick him out. It’s no use standing on ceremony with people like that!”

Rating: ★★★½☆

*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).