Chekhov Shorts: At a Summer Villa

Title: At a Summer Villa
Date Read: 4th May 2010
Briefly: Receiving an unexpected love letter from an unknown woman, married man Pavel Ivanitch Vyhodtsev tussles with the suggestion that he should rendezvous with the mysterious admirer at an old arbour. With curiosity and desire finally getting the better of him he sets off on an evening stroll, telling his wife that he has to clear his aching head.
Afterthoughts: Have I ever proclaimed Chekhov to be a master of comedy? I know that I have a million times, and this is yet another example of his mastery. The story is simple. The humour is straightforward. But even then it still makes for an entertaining ‘pick me up’ kind of read. What a genius!
Notable Quote: “I LOVE YOU. You are my life, my happiness — everything to me! Forgive the avowal, but I have not the strength to suffer and be silent. I ask not for love in return, but for sympathy. Be at the old arbour at eight o’clock this evening. . . . To sign my name is unnecessary I think, but do not be uneasy at my being anonymous. I am young, nice-looking . . . what more do you want?”

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).