In anticipation of the upcoming performances of Man in a Case this week at ArtsEmerson, we are taking time to get to the source of the inspiration. The company of performers, creators, and designers made this piece from a collection of short stories by Anton Chekhov: The Man in a Case and About Love. The stories are wonderful and great way to prep for this exciting show. Click here for About Love.
The Man in the Case by Anton Chekhov
Translated by Constance Garnett
At the furthest end of the village of Mironositskoe some belated sportsmen lodged for the night in the elder Prokofy’s barn. There were two of them, the veterinary surgeon Ivan Ivanovitch and the schoolmaster Burkin. Ivan Ivanovitch had a rather strange double-barrelled surname — Tchimsha-Himalaisky — which did not suit him at all, and he was called simply Ivan Ivanovitch all over the province. He lived at a stud-farm near the town, and had come out shooting now to get a breath of fresh air. Burkin, the high-school teacher, stayed every summer at Count P—–‘s, and had been thoroughly at home in this district for years.
They did not sleep. Ivan Ivanovitch, a tall, lean old fellow with long moustaches, was sitting outside the door, smoking a pipe in the moonlight. Burkin was lying within on the hay, and could not be seen in the darkness.
They were telling each other all sorts of stories. Among other things, they spoke of the fact that the elder’s wife, Mavra, a healthy and by no means stupid woman, had never been beyond her native village, had never seen a town nor a railway in her life, and had spent the last ten years sitting behind the stove, and only at night going out into the street.