My Deal Me In deck turned up clubs again this week, which means I get to read Chekhov.
Specifically, I read:
A Classical Student
by Anton Chekhov
I’m not sure, but I think this one was supposed to be funny.
A young man of thirteen takes his school examination, but fails because he got muddled in his Greek. His furious mother, upbraided by her sister for trying to educate the boy above their station, enlists a lodger to beat the boy. The lodger, “a man of intelligence and education,” obliges her after beginning with a lecture. The boy accepts both as his due. This is what happened to children who failed their examinations when I was young, so I suppose I was a classical student, as well.
This was one of those Chekhov stories you read and go, “Huh.” It’s one of those stories Chekhov does that doesn’t have a natural “form” and hasn’t been massaged into a story archetype, it just is.
I tell you frankly, I generally prefer a story with a shape and a conclusion that snaps shut, but I dig the occasional well-done slice-o-life, too, and this story definitely hovers on the slice-o-life end of the spectrum.
I dig Chekhov. Glad I decided to read him for Deal Me In.
A WRITING PROMPT FROM ME TO YOU: Write about failing an exam.