The Darling by Anton Chekhov is a humorous and poignant character study of an endearing woman. Chekhov gives us a puzzling heroine who seems to subordinate herself to the male intellect yet emerges as a gentle woman blighted by disappointment, but still "soldiering on."
The Darling is narrated by professional actor Sara Morsey in an understated style which allows the full character of "Olinka" to shine through. Food for thought in this one, as is always the case with Chekhov.
Public Domain (P)2014 Sara Morsey
Absolutely. It's a charming little story that dispels the myths that Russian writing is all grey skies and gloom, and Sara Morsey's reading is engaging.
It has a sneaky humour about it - it seems like a romance, and then another romance, and then... Olenka, the eponymous "darling" is nothing without a man. I prefer to think this is subversive feminism rather than misogyny - because otherwise this would not be a tale worth telling - but perhaps that is the faint edge of mischief in Morsey's reading.
I really enjoyed Sara Morsey's reading - such an attractive voice, with a warm humour to it that really suits the story. There's not a lot of dialogue, so it has to be Olenka, whom she makes sound fresh-faced and ingenuous. (Though her purring cat made me want to pick it up and cuddle it!)
It's a comic story - but perhaps when the vet is sent away and Olenka becomes thin and lonely and has no anchor (or opinions).
This is a short and amusing but pithy story (in fact it is amazing how much Chekhov crams into it) - and a salutary lesson that waiting for someone to come along and make you a complete person is not a smart way for a woman to live her life.
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