Chekhov Shorts: Strong Impressions

Title: Strong Impressions
Date Read: 13th April 2010
Briefly: Locked overnight in the courthouse during the course of a trial, a group of jurymen pass time by relating personal tales of woe. One man – ‘a foppishly dressed, fat little man’ – tells the tale of a lawyer friend who demonstrated his remarkable talent in his profession to him, by first convincing the storyteller that the woman he loved was no good for him, before reversing his argument and suggesting the opposite.
Afterthoughts: The purpose of this short but enjoyable tale from Chekhov is, it appears, to validate the role of the lawyer in the courthouse. It all sounds a bit boring I know but trust me this clever little tale is worth reading, if only for the mildest of twists which Chekhov throws in near the end.
Notable Quote: I was not more than twenty-two or twenty-three when I fell head over ears in love with my present wife and made her an offer. Now I could with pleasure thrash myself for my early marriage, but at the time, I don’t know what would have become of me if Natasha had refused me. My love was absolutely the real thing, just as it is described in novels — frantic, passionate, and so on. My happiness overwhelmed me and I did not know how to get away from it, and I bored my father and my friends and the servants, continually talking about the fervour of my passion. Happy people are the most sickening bores. I was a fearful bore; I feel ashamed of it even now. . . .

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).