Title: A Tripping Tongue
Date Read: 6th September 2011
Briefly: Having returned from Yalta, Natalya Mihalovna excitedly tells her husband Vassitchka all about her trip. She’s keen to tell him how immoral her friend Yulia has been acting in front of the Tatars, but it soon becomes clear that Natalya’s friend wasn’t the only one who was acting immorally.
Afterthoughts: A rather enjoyable tale from Chekhov which is spoiled somewhat with a partial unreadability in its translation. I’m not sure whether translator Constance Garnett had an off day (highly unlikely), or whether Chekhov’s prose doesn’t translate well in this instance, but I just felt that the story didn’t read as well as it might have.
Notable Quote: None of your silly grins, if you please! I am not a Yulia. . . . I don’t justify her but I . . . ! Though I don’t pose as a saint, I don’t forget myself to that degree. My Suleiman never overstepped the limits. . . . No-o! Mametkul used to be sitting at Yulia’s all day long, but in my room as soon as it struck eleven: ‘Suleiman, march! Off you go!’ And my foolish Tatar boy would depart.
*Story read as part of my Checkin’ Off The Chekhov Shorts reading challenge.