Sunday, October 05, 2008

Anton Chekhov in "Gooseberries"

"There ought to be behind the door of every happy, contented man some one standing with a hammer continually reminding him with a tap that there are unhappy people; that however happy he may be, life will show him her laws sooner or later, trouble will come for him - disease, poverty, losses, and no one will see or hear, just as now he neither sees nor hears others."

Recently reading the excerpt from Anton Chekhov (1860 -1904) above, I was moved by the great Russian writer’s grimly tragic but deeply wise view of life’s essence. Charles Simic quotes this passage from Chekhov’s story “Gooseberries” at the beginning of his New York Review of Books piece on Philip Roth's new novel, Indignation.
You can read the whole, generally laudatory, Simic review of Roth’s novel here.

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