‘I felt this beauty rather strangely.’
A delicately crafted unravelling of a universal phenomenon: the encounter between male psyche and feminine beauty. Chekhov takes us beyond the obvious realms of female objectification; describing fleeting impressions of different women on separate occasions, he reveals their sameness in evoking a unnervingly similar poetic space.
Undoubtedly one of the great masters of the short story form, Chekhov, a doctor by trade, famously said ‘If medicine is my lawful wife, then literature is my mistress.’ Early in his life he supported his struggling family with a prolific literary output but his talent was soon clear and he began to concentrate more on the artistry of his prose. His first longer story ‘The Steppe’, won him national acclaim, and so, eventually, did his remarkable work for the Russian stage.