Chekhov Shorts: The Jeune Premier

Title: The Jeune Premier
Date Read: 11th January 2011
Briefly: Proud of his ability to connect with the common people, actor Yevgeny Alexeyitch Podzharrov is also boastful of the women he has conquered in the name of love. On this particular day however, he’s chosen the wrong woman to talk about. There’s someone in the room who knows more about the woman that Podzharrov is talking about, than Podzharrov would have liked to have known.
Afterthoughts: This is certainly not one of Chekhov’s most outstanding stories, but it’s still well worth the read, if only to see a fine example of how an over-confident and cocky main character is often dealt with in the Chekhovian world.
Notable Quote: “Yes, signor,” he would often say, gracefully swinging his foot and displaying his red socks, “an artist ought to act upon the masses, both directly and indirectly; the first aim is attained by his work on the stage, the second by an acquaintance with the local inhabitants. On my honour, parole d’honneur, I don’t understand why it is we actors avoid making acquaintance with local families. Why is it? To say nothing of dinners, name-day parties, feasts, soirées fixes, to say nothing of these entertainments, think of the moral influence we may have on society! Is it not agreeable to feel one has dropped a spark in some thick skull? The types one meets! The women! Mon Dieu, what women! they turn one’s head!

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).