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The Slanderer

Anton Pavlovich Chekhov

Book Overview: 

A Slander is a short story that reflects the behavior of society concerning on the public image. In the story, Serge Kapitonich Ahineev is an important writer gathering with other important people. He got into the kitchen with Marfa, the cooker, to check the sturgeon, and amazed by the delicious smell he smacked his lips emitting the sound of an ungreased wheel. Suddenly, he heard a voice on the next room; it was Vankin, wrongly interpreting the noise he just heard and making up a story about Ahineev kissing Marfa. He got out of the kitchen with the anxiety of what is people going to say and started telling everyone what has happened. Soon, other people knew the event, but as a wrong explained gossip. Even the headmaster talked to him about the rumor, and what is worse, Ahineev’s wife got mad because of the gossip. This story shows how Ahineev, and the rest of the people, is dependent on people’s opinion.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .By Anton Chekhov Translated by Herman Bernstein.

Copyright, 1901, by the Globe and Commercial Advertiser

Sergey Kapitonlch Akhineyev, the teacher of calligraphy, gave his daughter Natalya in marriage to the teacher of history and geography, Ivan Petrovich Loshadinikh. The wedding feast went on swimmingly. They sang, played, and danced in the parlor. Waiters, hired for the occasion from the club, bustled about hither and thither like madmen, in black frock coats and soiled white neckties. A loud noise of voices smote the air. From the outside people looked in at the windows;—their social standing gave them no right to enter.

Just at midnight the host, Akhineyev, made his way to the kitchen to see whether everything was ready for the supper. The kitchen was filled with smoke from the floor to the ceiling; the smoke reeked with the odors of geese, ducks, and many other things. Victuals and beverages were scattere. . . Read More