After yesterday’s novelette, enjoy this short piece from young AC: http://www.chekhovshorts.com/stories/002.html
This story is equivalent to a flash story coming in at mere 697 words. The one scene story has a ” joyful and triumphant” son waking up his entire family with big news: his name was written in the newspaper. The story is written like a long punchline when it is revealed what the young man did to get his name in print. While the story might have been designed for the reading audience to laugh at the boy, judged by today’s standards (and maybe 19th century Russia as well) this is a cautionary tale about people wanting and getting fame at any cost.
In what I hope is a reflection of an early Chekhov style and not indicative of later works, this story left me with little to speak of other than the modern analogies that can be drawn with instant fame on the internet. The most poignant line is when the main character (Mitya) proclaims that “if anything happens it’s all known at once, nothing is hidden!” Of course he is referring to his drunken misstep being captured in the Russian paper which he can conveniently fold and put away in his back pocket when replaced by tomorrow’s news. It will only endure in the memory of those he awakens should they keep the paper as he implores them to do. We should be so lucky with today’s instant proliferation and enduring products that will live as long as the internet archive is sustained. There are a million Mitya posting their drunken adventures daily much to the chagrin of their parents. Mitya’s parents didn’t know how good they had it…