In Checkhov’s writing and in modern America, feelings of frustration and helplessness abound.
Doctors and kind-hearted relatives only do their best to make humanity stupid, and the time will come when mediocrity will be considered genius, and humanity will perish. – Anton Chekhov, “The Black Monk”
There’s no escaping the hum of troubling discourse pervading America these days. Mouthpieces for the current PEOTUS and Twitter aficionado Donald Trump rally around their man and argue vociferously for positions such as “facts don’t exist anymore” while members of his base rail at anyone who isn’t just like them as “racists.” Meanwhile, supporters of Trump’s opponent Hillary Clinton vacillate between feverish (and likely unrealistic) hoping that a recount will miraculously create a reversal of fortunes and feverishly gathering and posting apocalyptic visions of the future of Trump’s America on social media.
Welcome to our America – land of Donald’s tweets and home of malaise.
As for me, I’m reading Chekhov’s short stories in in the Modern Library edition. Reading Chekhov feels right these days. His stories are populated by characters suffering their own malaise. Continue reading