Chekhov and the Italian notebook

I haven't read Chekhov since high school. Recently, I felt like it was time to revisit the Russian classics and borrowed a book of his stories from a friend (she reads him a lot and often mentions how she loved reading this or that story).

Here is what I forgot about Chekhov - he is very funny but in a sarcastic sort of way. I find his descriptions of people somewhat cruel - he is always making fun of physical characteristics before further unveiling the character and their awkward, silly or ridiculous ways. That is just his style. I remember when I was a teenager I came to realization that that is not the way to look at people and had to train myself to get rid of such superficial judgmental view. It was the little things - a passerby on the street maybe not ideally dressed or not in ideal shape. Before my training I would make a quick judgment out of nowhere. Such judgment is uncalled for and is not needed or helpful in any way. I am glad I had an urge to fight it.

On the photo is my work desk with the book I borrowed and my notebook with Italian vocabulary. So much better to have these around than getting lost on the iPhone. (My Italian words for today are il cappotto (coat), la scarpa (shoe) and abbigliamento (clothing) courtesy of Duolingo).

And here is some Chekhov for those of you who speak Russian. I was laughing on the subway reading this today:

"Учитель чистописания Сергей Капитоныч Ахинеев выдавал свою дочку Наталью за учителя истории и географии Ивана Петровича Лошадиных." (From "Клевета")

And what are you reading at the moment?

P.S.: Forgot to mention, Chekhov has a one page story that mentions Buddhist teachings! It is called "A Few Thoughts About Soul / Несколько Мыслей о Душе" and it is from 1884. I find it very unusual - my understanding is that Buddhism was not very spread out back then due to limited availability of translated texts.

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