Thursday, April 05, 2007

Anton Chekhov

When I completed reading V FOR VENDETTA I was in dilemma as to what to read next. I also took a part time job. The job is not taxing. But the journey to the work spot is time consuming. My reading hours is shortened to some extent.

Dostoevsky’ The Brothers of Karamazov has not really taken off as expected. The Dairy of Anne Frank has also not progressed. I turned my attention to Anton Chekhov. I read The House with The Mezzanine. I couldn’t fathom the meaning of mezzanine. I checked it with The House with the mezzanine is a simple love story. The hero lost his love because of his views on certain things which the elder sister of his lady love did not see eye to eye.

Though I read the Black Monk earlier I gave a second reading. The second reading of The Black Monk is pleasurable. The hidden words that have not caught my attention earlier mesmerized me. The degeneration of hero Andrey Vasilich Koverin saddened me. Though he met his justifiable end for what he did to Tania and her father, his death evoked sympathy in him. As long as he was having hallucinations he was good. In his own words

“I went mad, I had the mania of greatness, but for all that I was Gay, healthy and even happy; I was interesting and original. Now I have become more sober minded and matter of fact, but in consequence I am now like every body else. I am mediocre, life is tiresome to me.”

Anton Chekhov’s description of the scenery is sometimes noteworthy. It merged with the mood of the story. Read the following:

“It was a calm warm evening, and there was a scent of the sea. The moon and lights were reflected in the beautiful bay, which was of a color for which it was difficult to find a name. It was a delicate and soft blending of blue and green; in places the water assumed the color of green copperas, and in other places it seemed as if the moonlight had solidified, and instead of water had filled the bay, and in general what harmony of color there was all-round, what a peaceful, calm and lofty enjoyment.”

Another description,

“Running down the steep foot path that passed by the bare roots he came to the water, disturbing some snip and frightening a pair of ducks. Some of the tops of the gloomy pines were still illuminated by the rays of the setting sun, but on the surface of the river evening had already settled down. Kovrin crossed the footbridge to the other bank. Before him lay a wide field of young rye not yet in flower. Neither a human habitation nor a living soul was to be seen near or far, and it seemed as if this foot path, if only you went far enough along it, would lead to that unknown, mysterious place into which the sun had just descended, and where the glorious blaze of the evening brightness was still widespread.”
I am wondering whether the translation is good or the original has the same power and beauty.

Another beautiful observation,

“The beautiful present and the memories of that were aroused in him of the past were blended together.”

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