With its somber introspection and psychoanalytic underpinnings, "The Lament" perhaps resembles the intense character probings of Anton Chekov’s influential predecessors - Fyodor Dostoevsky and Nikolai Gogol - more than Chekov’s typical dealings in irreverent humor and situational irony. Nevertheless, the short story master’s penchant for understatement and brevity - his ability to say more with less - is in fine form in this simple but poignant tale of cabbie Iona Potapov, grief stricken at the loss of his only son. Performer Walter Zimmerman recounts this tale of sorrow and empathy, capturing Potapov’s lonely dejection as he struggles to share his sorrow with his fares. A brilliant character actor, Zimmerman contrasts the quiet sorrow of Potapov - prisoner in his own mind - with the hurried detachment of his passengers.
Anton Pavlovich Chekhov was a Russian short-story writer and playwright. He is considered to be one of the greatest short-story writers in the history of world literature and "The Lament" is one of the most memorable of his stories.