Friday Fun: The Beauties

Over at The Guardian, Philip Pullman, author of the splendid trilogy His Dark Materials reads his favorite Chekhov short story, The Beauties (online text).

A taste:

. . . but then I gradually forgot myself and surrendered entirely to the sensation of beauty. I no longer remembered the dreary step in the dust, no longer heard the flies buzzing, no longer tasted my tea. All I was conscious of was the beautiful girl standing on the other side of the table. My appreciation of her beauty was rather remarkable. It was not desire, not ecstasy, not pleasure that she aroused in me, but an oppressive yet agreeable melancholia, a sadness vague and hazy as a dream.

Listen to all 22 minutes here.


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