SHADOWS AND LIGHT: Nine Stories by Anton Chekhov
Kirkus Star


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Handsome brown ink, for both text and the sparse but warm Grifalconi scenes, marks an enterprising selection of droll twists and gently mocking ambiguities from a short story master. There is universal humor in a classic case of association: cat fears mouse because of an anxious human's conditioning, a reflex the author compares, at the close, to his own involuntary aversion to Latin studies. Tenderness and terror mingle in the story of a boy taken to a hospital; the youth panics when the man in the next bed dies, fears the same end for himself when the doctor unthinkingly duplicates an ominous remark. And in ""The Evildoer"" there is the age old misfortune of judge and defendant tuned in on different wave lengths. The last, ""A Horsy Name,"" quietly chuckles at human imperfection as a peasant tries to remember an essential name for his demanding master; it is only when it is too late that the horsy name is recalled, thus making anticlimax the essential thrust. Chekhov's concern with the integrity of the poor and the young should guarantee an enthusiastic reception.

Pub Date: June 7th, 1968
Publisher: Doubleday