Find today’s 10,545 word story here: http://www.chekhovshorts.com/stories/182.html
Ariadne is a gorgeous woman who wants and consumes like a fire. Her family denied her nothing and even when it meant stripping lodge roofs of iron so she could get the horse wanted. Shamohin tells the narrator (who happens to be a writer) about how he fell under her spell. From his time with Ariadne – the only experience with a woman as far as I can tell – he has formed a “misogynistic” opinion of all women. The story was quite long , but I did appreciate the scenes with Ariadne trying to push Shamohin into becoming the careless lover that she desperately wants while being won over by Lukhov, a smooth operator who is married, in debt and not very attractive. The following lines by Ariadne are key to remainder of the story:
“You’re really not a man, but a mush… A man ought to be able to be carried away by his feelings, he ought to be able to be mad, to make mistakes, to suffer! A woman will forgive you audacity and insolence, but she will never forgive your reasonableness!”
Shamohin, losing to Ariadne to Lukhov’s charm, slowly succumbs to the recklessness that Ariadne wants to peril of father’s estate. I also like that Ariadne as a sociopathic parasite, tries to feel love, but cannot, according to Shamohin. Her personality with the fake hugs and pleasing others reminds of me of many fake people I have encountered in Los Angeles. The locations in Abbazzia and Italy added some flavor to the story, but overall I felt the story could have been much shorter.