Monday, August 7, 2023

Quote of the Day (Anton Chekhov, on a Love-Struck Strongman)

“Maxim Kuzmich Salyutov is tall, broad-shouldered and well-built. His physique, you can confidently say, is athletic, his strength phenomenal. He can bend coins, pull up young trees by the roots and lift weights with his teeth, and he swears that no man would dare wrestle with him. He is brave and courageous. No one has ever seen him scared of anything. Other people, though, are scared enough of him and turn pale if he is angry. Men and women squeal and blush when he shakes their hands: ouch! His fine baritone is so powerful it deafens you. A rock of a man! I’ve never met anyone like him.

“But when Maxim Kuzmich, this prodigy of nature, this ox-like force, was declaring his love for Yelena Gavrilovna, he resembled nothing so much as a squashed rat! He turned pale, blushed, trembled and was in no fit state to lift up a chair when he had to squeeze the words 'I love you!' from his large mouth. All his strength disappeared, and his large body turned into one big hollow shell.”—Russian playwright and short-story writer Anton Chekhov (1860-1904), “A Woman Without Prejudices,” originally published in 1883, reprinted in The Comic Stories, translated by Harvey Pitcher (1999)

No comments: