|Born||Anton Pavlovich Chekhov|
29 January 1860
Taganrog, Ekaterinoslav Governorate, Russian Empire
|Died||15 July 1904 44) (aged|
Badenweiler, Grand Duchy of Baden, German Empire
|Resting place||Novodevichy Cemetery, Moscow|
|Occupation||Physician, short story writer, playwright|
|Alma mater||First Moscow State Medical University|
|Notable awards||Pushkin Prize|
|Relatives|| Alexander Chekhov (brother)|
Maria Chekhova (sister)
Nikolai Chekhov (brother)
Michael Chekhov (nephew)
Lev Knipper (nephew)
Olga Chekhova (niece)
Ada Tschechowa (great-niece)
Marina Ried (great-niece)
Vera Tschechowa (great-great niece)
Anton Pavlovich Chekhov (Russian:Антон Павлович Чехов ,IPA: [ɐnˈton ˈpavləvʲɪtɕ ˈtɕexəf] ; 29 January 1860 – 15 July 1904 ) was a Russian playwright and short-story writer who is considered to be one of the greatest writers of all time. His career as a playwright produced four classics, and his best short stories are held in high esteem by writers and critics. Along with Henrik Ibsen and August Strindberg, Chekhov is often referred to as one of the three seminal figures in the birth of early modernism in the theatre. Chekhov was a physician by profession. "Medicine is my lawful wife", he once said, "and literature is my mistress."
Chekhov renounced the theatre after the reception of The Seagull in 1896, but the play was revived to acclaim in 1898 by Konstantin Stanislavski's Moscow Art Theatre, which subsequently also produced Chekhov's Uncle Vanya and premiered his last two plays, Three Sisters and The Cherry Orchard . These four works present a challenge to the acting ensembleas well as to audiences, because in place of conventional action Chekhov offers a "theatre of mood" and a "submerged life in the text". The plays that Chekhov wrote were not complex, but easy to follow, and created a somewhat haunting atmosphere for the audience.
Chekhov at first wrote stories to earn money, but as his artistic ambition grew, he made formal innovations that influenced the evolution of the modern short story.He made no apologies for the difficulties this posed to readers, insisting that the role of an artist was to ask questions, not to answer them.
Anton Chekhov was born into a Russian family on the feast day of St. Anthony the Great (17 January Old Style) 29 January 1860 in Taganrog, a port on the Sea of Azov – on Politseyskaya (Police) street, later renamed Chekhova street – in southern Russia. He was the third of six surviving children. His father, Pavel Yegorovich Chekhov, the son of a former serf and his wife,was from the village Olkhovatka (Voronezh Governorate) and ran a grocery store. A director of the parish choir, devout Orthodox Christian, and physically abusive father, Pavel Chekhov has been seen by some historians as the model for his son's many portraits of hypocrisy. Chekhov's mother, Yevgeniya (Morozova), was an excellent storyteller who entertained the children with tales of her travels with her cloth-merchant father all over Russia. "Our talents we got from our father," Chekhov remembered, "but our soul from our mother."
In adulthood, Chekhov criticised his brother Alexander's treatment of his wife and children by reminding him of Pavel's tyranny: "Let me ask you to recall that it was despotism and lying that ruined your mother's youth. Despotism and lying so mutilated our childhood that it's sickening and frightening to think about it. Remember the horror and disgust we felt in those times when Father threw a tantrum at dinner over too much salt in the soup and called Mother a fool."
Chekhov attended the Greek School in Taganrog and the Taganrog Gymnasium (since renamed the Chekhov Gymnasium), where he was held back for a year at fifteen for failing an examination in Ancient Greek.He sang at the Greek Orthodox monastery in Taganrog and in his father's choirs. In a letter of 1892, he used the word "suffering" to describe his childhood and recalled:
When my brothers and I used to stand in the middle of the church and sing the trio "May my prayer be exalted", or "The Archangel's Voice", everyone looked at us with emotion and envied our parents, but we at that moment felt like little convicts.
In 1876, Chekhov's father was declared bankrupt after overextending his finances building a new house, having been cheated by a contractor named Mironov.To avoid debtor's prison he fled to Moscow, where his two eldest sons, Alexander and Nikolai, were attending university. The family lived in poverty in Moscow. Chekhov's mother was physically and emotionally broken by the experience.
Chekhov was left behind to sell the family's possessions and finish his education. He remained in Taganrog for three more years, boarding with a man by the name of Selivanov who, like Lopakhin in The Cherry Orchard, had bailed out the family for the price of their house.Chekhov had to pay for his own education, which he managed by private tutoring, catching and selling goldfinches, and selling short sketches to the newspapers, among other jobs. He sent every ruble he could spare to his family in Moscow, along with humorous letters to cheer them up.
During this time, he read widely and analytically, including the works of Cervantes, Turgenev, Goncharov, and Schopenhauer,and wrote a full-length comic drama, Fatherless, which his brother Alexander dismissed as "an inexcusable though innocent fabrication". Chekhov also experienced a series of love affairs, one with the wife of a teacher. In 1879, Chekhov completed his schooling and joined his family in Moscow, having gained admission to the medical school at I.M. Sechenov First Moscow State Medical University.
Chekhov then assumed responsibility for the whole family.To support them and to pay his tuition fees, he wrote daily short, humorous sketches and vignettes of contemporary Russian life, many under pseudonyms such as "Antosha Chekhonte" (Антоша Чехонте) and "Man Without Spleen" (Человек без селезенки). His prodigious output gradually earned him a reputation as a satirical chronicler of Russian street life, and by 1882 he was writing for Oskolki ( Fragments ), owned by Nikolai Leykin, one of the leading publishers of the time. Chekhov's tone at this stage was harsher than that familiar from his mature fiction.
In 1884, Chekhov qualified as a physician, which he considered his principal profession though he made little money from it and treated the poor free of charge.
In 1884 and 1885, Chekhov found himself coughing blood, and in 1886 the attacks worsened, but he would not admit his tuberculosis to his family or his friends.He confessed to Leykin, "I am afraid to submit myself to be sounded by my colleagues." He continued writing for weekly periodicals, earning enough money to move the family into progressively better accommodations.
Early in 1886 he was invited to write for one of the most popular papers in St. Petersburg, Novoye Vremya (New Times), owned and edited by the millionaire magnate Alexey Suvorin, who paid a rate per line double Leykin's and allowed Chekhov three times the space.Suvorin was to become a lifelong friend, perhaps Chekhov's closest.
Before long, Chekhov was attracting literary as well as popular attention. The sixty-four-year-old Dmitry Grigorovich, a celebrated Russian writer of the day, wrote to Chekhov after reading his short story "The Huntsman" that"You have real talent, a talent that places you in the front rank among writers in the new generation." He went on to advise Chekhov to slow down, write less, and concentrate on literary quality.
Chekhov replied that the letter had struck him "like a thunderbolt" and confessed, "I have written my stories the way reporters write up their notes about fires—mechanically, half-consciously, caring nothing about either the reader or myself."The admission may have done Chekhov a disservice, since early manuscripts reveal that he often wrote with extreme care, continually revising. Grigorovich's advice nevertheless inspired a more serious, artistic ambition in the twenty-six-year-old. In 1888, with a little string-pulling by Grigorovich, the short story collection At Dusk (V Sumerkakh) won Chekhov the coveted Pushkin Prize "for the best literary production distinguished by high artistic worth".
In 1887, exhausted from overwork and ill health, Chekhov took a trip to Ukraine, which reawakened him to the beauty of the steppe.On his return, he began the novella-length short story "The Steppe", which he called "something rather odd and much too original", and which was eventually published in Severny Vestnik (The Northern Herald). In a narrative that drifts with the thought processes of the characters, Chekhov evokes a chaise journey across the steppe through the eyes of a young boy sent to live away from home, and his companions, a priest and a merchant. "The Steppe" has been called a "dictionary of Chekhov's poetics", and it represented a significant advance for Chekhov, exhibiting much of the quality of his mature fiction and winning him publication in a literary journal rather than a newspaper.
In autumn 1887, a theatre manager named Korsh commissioned Chekhov to write a play, the result being Ivanov , written in a fortnight and produced that November.Though Chekhov found the experience "sickening" and painted a comic portrait of the chaotic production in a letter to his brother Alexander, the play was a hit and was praised, to Chekhov's bemusement, as a work of originality. Although Chekhov did not fully realise it at the time, Chekhov's plays, such as The Seagull (written in 1895), Uncle Vanya (written in 1897), The Three Sisters (written in 1900), and The Cherry Orchard (written in 1903) served as a revolutionary backbone to what is common sense to the medium of acting to this day: an effort to recreate and express the realism of how people truly act and speak with each other. This realistic manifestation of the human condition may engender in audiences reflection upon what it means to be human.
This philosophy of approaching the art of acting has stood not only steadfast, but as the cornerstone of acting for much of the 20th century to this day. Mikhail Chekhov considered Ivanov a key moment in his brother's intellectual development and literary career.From this period comes an observation of Chekhov's that has become known as Chekhov's gun , a dramatic principle that requires that every element in a narrative be necessary and irreplaceable, and that everything else be removed.
Remove everything that has no relevance to the story. If you say in the first chapter that there is a rifle hanging on the wall, in the second or third chapter it absolutely must go off. If it's not going to be fired, it shouldn't be hanging there.
The death of Chekhov's brother Nikolai from tuberculosis in 1889 influenced A Dreary Story, finished that September, about a man who confronts the end of a life that he realises has been without purpose.Mikhail Chekhov, who recorded his brother's depression and restlessness after Nikolai's death, was researching prisons at the time as part of his law studies, and Anton Chekhov, in a search for purpose in his own life, himself soon became obsessed with the issue of prison reform.
In 1890, Chekhov undertook an arduous journey by train, horse-drawn carriage, and river steamer to the Russian Far East and the katorga , or penal colony, on Sakhalin Island, north of Japan, where he spent three months interviewing thousands of convicts and settlers for a census. The letters Chekhov wrote during the two-and-a-half-month journey to Sakhalin are considered to be among his best.His remarks to his sister about Tomsk were to become notorious.
Tomsk is a very dull town. To judge from the drunkards whose acquaintance I have made, and from the intellectual people who have come to the hotel to pay their respects to me, the inhabitants are very dull, too.
Chekhov witnessed much on Sakhalin that shocked and angered him, including floggings, embezzlement of supplies, and forced prostitution of women. He wrote, "There were times I felt that I saw before me the extreme limits of man's degradation."He was particularly moved by the plight of the children living in the penal colony with their parents. For example:
On the Amur steamer going to Sakhalin, there was a convict who had murdered his wife and wore fetters on his legs. His daughter, a little girl of six, was with him. I noticed wherever the convict moved the little girl scrambled after him, holding on to his fetters. At night the child slept with the convicts and soldiers all in a heap together.
Chekhov later concluded that charity was not the answer, but that the government had a duty to finance humane treatment of the convicts. His findings were published in 1893 and 1894 as Ostrov Sakhalin ( The Island of Sakhalin ), a work of social science, not literature.Chekhov found literary expression for the "Hell of Sakhalin" in his long short story "The Murder", the last section of which is set on Sakhalin, where the murderer Yakov loads coal in the night while longing for home. Chekhov's writing on Sakhalin, especially the traditions and habits of the Gilyak people, is the subject of a sustained meditation and analysis in Haruki Murakami's novel 1Q84 . It is also the subject of a poem by the Nobel Prize winner Seamus Heaney, "Chekhov on Sakhalin" (collected in the volume Station Island). Rebecca Gould has compared Chekhov's book on Sakhalin to Katherine Mansfield's Urewera Notebook (1907). In 2013, the Wellcome Trust-funded play 'A Russian Doctor', performed by Andrew Dawson and researched by Professor Jonathan Cole, explored Chekhov's experiences on Sakhalin Island.
Mikhail Chekhov, a member of the household at Melikhovo, described the extent of his brother's medical commitments:
From the first day that Chekhov moved to Melikhovo, the sick began flocking to him from twenty miles around. They came on foot or were brought in carts, and often he was fetched to patients at a distance. Sometimes from early in the morning peasant women and children were standing before his door waiting.
Chekhov's expenditure on drugs was considerable, but the greatest cost was making journeys of several hours to visit the sick, which reduced his time for writing.However, Chekhov's work as a doctor enriched his writing by bringing him into intimate contact with all sections of Russian society: for example, he witnessed at first hand the peasants' unhealthy and cramped living conditions, which he recalled in his short story "Peasants". Chekhov visited the upper classes as well, recording in his notebook: "Aristocrats? The same ugly bodies and physical uncleanliness, the same toothless old age and disgusting death, as with market-women." In 1893/1894 he worked as a Zemstvo doctor in Zvenigorod, which has numerous sanatoriums and rest homes. A local hospital is named after him.
In 1894, Chekhov began writing his play The Seagull in a lodge he had built in the orchard at Melikhovo. In the two years since he had moved to the estate, he had refurbished the house, taken up agriculture and horticulture, tended the orchard and the pond, and planted many trees, which, according to Mikhail, he "looked after ... as though they were his children. Like Colonel Vershinin in his Three Sisters , as he looked at them he dreamed of what they would be like in three or four hundred years."
The first night of The Seagull, at the Alexandrinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg on 17 October 1896, was a fiasco, as the play was booed by the audience, stinging Chekhov into renouncing the theatre.But the play so impressed the theatre director Vladimir Nemirovich-Danchenko that he convinced his colleague Konstantin Stanislavski to direct a new production for the innovative Moscow Art Theatre in 1898. Stanislavski's attention to psychological realism and ensemble playing coaxed the buried subtleties from the text, and restored Chekhov's interest in playwriting. The Art Theatre commissioned more plays from Chekhov and the following year staged Uncle Vanya, which Chekhov had completed in 1896. In the last decades of his life he became an atheist.
In March 1897, Chekhov suffered a major haemorrhage of the lungs while on a visit to Moscow. With great difficulty he was persuaded to enter a clinic, where the doctors diagnosed tuberculosis on the upper part of his lungs and ordered a change in his manner of life.
After his father's death in 1898, Chekhov bought a plot of land on the outskirts of Yalta and built a villa (The White Dacha), into which he moved with his mother and sister the following year. Though he planted trees and flowers, kept dogs and tame cranes, and received guests such as Leo Tolstoy and Maxim Gorky, Chekhov was always relieved to leave his "hot Siberia" for Moscow or travels abroad. He vowed to move to Taganrog as soon as a water supply was installed there.In Yalta he completed two more plays for the Art Theatre, composing with greater difficulty than in the days when he "wrote serenely, the way I eat pancakes now". He took a year each over Three Sisters and The Cherry Orchard .
On 25 May 1901, Chekhov married Olga Knipper quietly, owing to his horror of weddings. She was a former protégée and sometime lover of Nemirovich-Danchenko whom he had first met at rehearsals for The Seagull.Up to that point, Chekhov, known as "Russia's most elusive literary bachelor", had preferred passing liaisons and visits to brothels over commitment. He had once written to Suvorin:
By all means I will be married if you wish it. But on these conditions: everything must be as it has been hitherto—that is, she must live in Moscow while I live in the country, and I will come and see her ... I promise to be an excellent husband, but give me a wife who, like the moon, won't appear in my sky every day.
The letter proved prophetic of Chekhov's marital arrangements with Olga: he lived largely at Yalta, she in Moscow, pursuing her acting career. In 1902, Olga suffered a miscarriage; and Donald Rayfield has offered evidence, based on the couple's letters, that conception occurred when Chekhov and Olga were apart, although Russian scholars have rejected that claim.The literary legacy of this long-distance marriage is a correspondence that preserves gems of theatre history, including shared complaints about Stanislavski's directing methods and Chekhov's advice to Olga about performing in his plays.
In Yalta, Chekhov wrote one of his most famous stories,"The Lady with the Dog" (also translated from the Russian as "Lady with Lapdog"), which depicts what at first seems a casual liaison between a cynical married man and an unhappy married woman who meet while holidaying in Yalta. Neither expects anything lasting from the encounter. Unexpectedly though, they gradually fall deeply in love and end up risking scandal and the security of their family lives. The story masterfully captures their feelings for each other, the inner transformation undergone by the disillusioned male protagonist as a result of falling deeply in love, and their inability to resolve the matter by either letting go of their families or of each other.
In May 1903 Chekhov visited Moscow; the prominent lawyer Vasily Maklakov visited him almost every day. Maklakov signed Chekhov's will. By May 1904 Chekhov was terminally ill with tuberculosis. Mikhail Chekhov recalled that "everyone who saw him secretly thought the end was not far off, but the nearer [he] was to the end, the less he seemed to realise it".On 3 June he set off with Olga for the German spa town of Badenweiler in the Black Forest in Germany, from where he wrote outwardly jovial letters to his sister Masha, describing the food and surroundings, and assuring her and his mother that he was getting better. In his last letter he complained about the way German women dressed. Chekhov died on 15 July 1904 at the age of 44 after a long fight with tuberculosis, the same disease that killed his brother.
Chekhov's death has become one of "the great set pieces of literary history" —retold, embroidered, and fictionalized many times since, notably in the 1987 short story "Errand" by Raymond Carver. In 1908 Olga wrote this account of her husband's last moments:
Anton sat up unusually straight and said loudly and clearly (although he knew almost no German): Ich sterbe ('I'm dying'). The doctor calmed him, took a syringe, gave him an injection of camphor, and ordered champagne. Anton took a full glass, examined it, smiled at me and said: 'It's a long time since I drank champagne.' He drained it and lay quietly on his left side, and I just had time to run to him and lean across the bed and call to him, but he had stopped breathing and was sleeping peacefully as a child ...
Chekhov's body was transported to Moscow in a refrigerated railway-car meant for oysters, a detail that offended Gorky.Some of the thousands of mourners followed the funeral procession of a General Keller by mistake, to the accompaniment of a military band. Chekhov was buried next to his father at the Novodevichy Cemetery.
A few months before he died, Chekhov told the writer Ivan Bunin that he thought people might go on reading his writings for seven years. "Why seven?" asked Bunin. "Well, seven and a half", Chekhov replied. "That's not bad. I've got six years to live."Chekhov's posthumous reputation greatly exceeded his expectations. The ovations for the play The Cherry Orchard in the year of his death served to demonstrate the Russian public's acclaim for the writer, which placed him second in literary celebrity only to Tolstoy, who outlived him by six years. Tolstoy was an early admirer of Chekhov's short stories and had a series that he deemed "first quality" and "second quality" bound into a book. In the first category were: Children, The Chorus Girl, A Play, Home, Misery, The Runaway, In Court, Vanka, Ladies, A Malefactor, The Boys, Darkness, Sleepy, The Helpmate, and The Darling ; in the second: A Transgression, Sorrow, The Witch, Verochka, In a Strange Land, The Cook's Wedding, A Tedious Business, An Upheaval, Oh! The Public!, The Mask, A Woman's Luck, Nerves, The Wedding, A Defenceless Creature, and Peasant Wives.
Chekhov's work also found praise from several of Russia's most influential radical political thinkers. If anyone doubted the gloom and miserable poverty of Russia in the 1880s, the anarchist theorist Peter Kropotkin responded, "read only Chekhov's novels!"Raymond Tallis further recounts that Vladimir Lenin believed his reading of the short story Ward No. 6 "made him a revolutionary". Upon finishing the story, Lenin is said to have remarked: "I absolutely had the feeling that I was shut up in Ward 6 myself!"
In Chekhov's lifetime, British and Irish critics generally did not find his work pleasing; E. J. Dillon thought "the effect on the reader of Chekhov's tales was repulsion at the gallery of human waste represented by his fickle, spineless, drifting people" and R. E. C. Long said "Chekhov's characters were repugnant, and that Chekhov revelled in stripping the last rags of dignity from the human soul".After his death, Chekhov was reappraised. Constance Garnett's translations won him an English-language readership and the admiration of writers such as James Joyce, Virginia Woolf, and Katherine Mansfield, whose story "The Child Who Was Tired" is similar to Chekhov's "Sleepy". The Russian critic D. S. Mirsky, who lived in England, explained Chekhov's popularity in that country by his "unusually complete rejection of what we may call the heroic values". In Russia itself, Chekhov's drama fell out of fashion after the revolution, but it was later incorporated into the Soviet canon. The character of Lopakhin, for example, was reinvented as a hero of the new order, rising from a modest background so as eventually to possess the gentry's estates.
Despite Chekhov's reputation as a playwright, William Boyd asserts that his short stories represent the greater achievement.Raymond Carver, who wrote the short story "Errand" about Chekhov's death, believed that Chekhov was the greatest of all short story writers:
Chekhov's stories are as wonderful (and necessary) now as when they first appeared. It is not only the immense number of stories he wrote—for few, if any, writers have ever done more—it is the awesome frequency with which he produced masterpieces, stories that shrive us as well as delight and move us, that lay bare our emotions in ways only true art can accomplish.
One of the first non-Russians to praise Chekhov's plays was George Bernard Shaw, who subtitled his Heartbreak House "A Fantasia in the Russian Manner on English Themes", and pointed out similarities between the predicament of the British landed class and that of their Russian counterparts as depicted by Chekhov: "the same nice people, the same utter futility".
Ernest Hemingway, another writer influenced by Chekhov, was more grudging: "Chekhov wrote about six good stories. But he was an amateur writer."And Vladimir Nabokov criticised Chekhov's "medley of dreadful prosaisms, ready-made epithets, repetitions". But he also declared “yet it is his works which I would take on a trip to another planet” and called "The Lady with the Dog" "one of the greatest stories ever written" in its depiction of a problematic relationship, and described Chekhov as writing "the way one person relates to another the most important things in his life, slowly and yet without a break, in a slightly subdued voice".
For the writer William Boyd, Chekhov's historical accomplishment was to abandon what William Gerhardie called the "event plot" for something more "blurred, interrupted, mauled or otherwise tampered with by life".
Virginia Woolf mused on the unique quality of a Chekhov story in The Common Reader (1925):
But is it the end, we ask? We have rather the feeling that we have overrun our signals; or it is as if a tune had stopped short without the expected chords to close it. These stories are inconclusive, we say, and proceed to frame a criticism based upon the assumption that stories ought to conclude in a way that we recognise. In so doing we raise the question of our own fitness as readers. Where the tune is familiar and the end emphatic—lovers united, villains discomfited, intrigues exposed—as it is in most Victorian fiction, we can scarcely go wrong, but where the tune is unfamiliar and the end a note of interrogation or merely the information that they went on talking, as it is in Tchekov, we need a very daring and alert sense of literature to make us hear the tune, and in particular those last notes which complete the harmony.
Michael Goldman has said of the elusive quality of Chekhov's comedies: "Having learned that Chekhov is comic ... Chekhov is comic in a very special, paradoxical way. His plays depend, as comedy does, on the vitality of the actors to make pleasurable what would otherwise be painfully awkward—inappropriate speeches, missed connections, faux pas, stumbles, childishness—but as part of a deeper pathos; the stumbles are not pratfalls but an energized, graceful dissolution of purpose."
In the United States, Chekhov's reputation began its rise slightly later, partly through the influence of Stanislavski's system of acting, with its notion of subtext: "Chekhov often expressed his thought not in speeches", wrote Stanislavski, "but in pauses or between the lines or in replies consisting of a single word ... the characters often feel and think things not expressed in the lines they speak." The Group Theatre, in particular, developed the subtextual approach to drama, influencing generations of American playwrights, screenwriters, and actors, including Clifford Odets, Elia Kazan and, in particular, Lee Strasberg. In turn, Strasberg's Actors Studio and the "Method" acting approach influenced many actors, including Marlon Brando and Robert De Niro, though by then the Chekhov tradition may have been distorted by a preoccupation with realism. In 1981, the playwright Tennessee Williams adapted The Seagull as The Notebook of Trigorin . One of Anton's nephews, Michael Chekhov, would also contribute heavily to modern theatre, particularly through his unique acting methods which developed Stanislavski's ideas further.
Alan Twigg, the chief editor and publisher of the Canadian book review magazine B.C. BookWorld wrote:
One can argue Anton Chekhov is the second-most popular writer on the planet. Only Shakespeare outranks Chekhov in terms of movie adaptations of their work, according to the movie database IMDb. ... We generally know less about Chekhov than we know about mysterious Shakespeare.
Chekhov has also influenced the work of Japanese playwrights including Shimizu Kunio, Yōji Sakate, and Ai Nagai. Critics have noted similarities in how Chekhov and Shimizu use a mixture of light humour as well as an intense depictions of longing.Sakate adapted several of Chekhov's plays and transformed them in the general style of nō . Nagai also adapted Chekhov's plays, including Three Sisters, and transformed his dramatic style into Nagai's style of satirical realism while emphasising the social issues depicted in the play.
Chekhov's works have been adapted for the screen, including Sidney Lumet's Sea Gull and Louis Malle's Vanya on 42nd Street . Laurence Olivier's final effort as a film director was a 1970 adaption of Three Sisters in which he also played a supporting role. His work has also served as inspiration or been referenced in numerous films. In Andrei Tarkovsky's 1975 film The Mirror, characters discuss his short story "Ward No. 6". Woody Allen has been influenced by Chekhov and references to his works are present in many of his films including Love and Death (1975), Interiors (1978) and Hannah and Her Sisters (1986). Plays by Chekhov are also referenced in François Truffaut's 1980 drama film The Last Metro , which is set in a theatre. The Cherry Orchard has a role in the comedy film Henry's Crime (2011). A portion of a stage production of Three Sisters appears in the 2014 drama film Still Alice .
Several of Chekhov's short stories were adapted as episodes of the 1986 Indian anthology television series Katha Sagar . Another Indian television series titled Chekhov Ki Duniya aired on DD National in the 1990s, adapting different works of Chekhov.
Nuri Bilge Ceylan's Palme d'Or winner Winter Sleep was adapted from the short story "The Wife" by Anton Chekhov.
For Rozanov, Chekhov represents a concluding stage of classical Russian literature at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries, caused by the fading of the thousand-year-old Christian tradition that had sustained much of this literature. On the one hand, Rozanov regards Chekhov's positivism and atheism as his shortcomings, naming them among the reasons for Chekhov's popularity in society.
While Anton did not turn into the kind of militant atheist that his older brother Alexander eventually became, there is no doubt that he was a non-believer in the last decades of his life.
According to Leonid Grossman, 'In his revelation of those evangelical elements, the atheist Chekhov is unquestionably one of the most Christian poets of world literature.'
When Vladimir finished reading this story, he was seized with such a horror that he could not bear to stay in his room. He went out to find someone to talk to, but it was late: they had all gone to bed. 'I absolutely had the feeling,' he told his sister next day,'that I was shut up in Ward 6 myself!'
This article contains information about the literary events and publications of 1901.
The Seagull is a play by Russian dramatist Anton Chekhov, written in 1895 and first produced in 1896. The Seagull is generally considered to be the first of his four major plays. It dramatises the romantic and artistic conflicts between four characters: the famous middlebrow story writer Boris Trigorin, the ingenue Nina, the fading actress Irina Arkadina, and her son the symbolist playwright Konstantin Treplev.
Chekhov's gun is a narrative principle that states that every element in a story must be necessary, and irrelevant elements should be removed. Alternatively explained, suppose a writer features a gun in a story; if the writer features it, there must be a reason for it, such as it being fired sometime later in the plot. All elements must eventually come into play at some point in the story.
Mikhail Aleksandrovich Chekhov, known as Michael Chekhov, was an American actor, director, author and theatre practitioner. He was a nephew of the playwright Anton Chekhov and a student of Konstantin Stanislavski. Stanislavski referred to him as his most brilliant student.
Olga Leonardovna Knipper-Chekhova was a Russian and Soviet stage actress. She was married to Anton Chekhov.
The Chekhov Gymnasium in Taganrog on Ulitsa Oktyabrskaya 9 is the oldest gymnasium in the South of Russia. Playwright and short-story writer Anton Chekhov spent 11 years in the school, which was later named after him and transformed into a literary museum. Visitors can see Anton's desk and his classroom, the assembly hall and even the punishment cell which he sometimes visited.
Anton Chekhov was a Russian playwright and short-story writer who is considered to be among the greatest writers of short fiction in history. He wrote hundreds of short stories, one novel, and seven full-length plays.
Aleksei Sergeyevich Suvorin was a Russian newspaper and book publisher and journalist whose publishing empire wielded considerable influence during the last decades of the Russian Empire.
"The Lady with the Dog" is a short story by Anton Chekhov. First published in 1899, it describes an adulterous affair between an unhappily married Moscow banker and a young married woman which begins while both are vacationing alone in Yalta. It is one of Chekhov's most famous pieces of short fiction, and Vladimir Nabokov considered it to be one of the greatest short stories ever written.
The Moscow Art Theatre production of The Seagull in 1898, directed by Konstantin Stanislavski and Vladimir Nemirovich-Danchenko, was a crucial milestone for the fledgling theatre company that has been described as "one of the greatest events in the history of Russian theatre and one of the greatest new developments in the history of world drama." It was the first production in Moscow of Anton Chekhov's 1896 play The Seagull, though it had been performed with only moderate success in St. Petersburg two years earlier. Nemirovich, who was a friend of Chekhov's, overcame the writer's refusal to allow the play to appear in Moscow after its earlier lacklustre reception and convinced Stanislavski to direct the play for their innovative and newly founded Moscow Art Theatre (MAT). The production opened on 29 December [O.S. 17 December] 1898. The MAT's success was due to the fidelity of its delicate representation of everyday life, its intimate, ensemble playing, and the resonance of its mood of despondent uncertainty with the psychological disposition of the Russian intelligentsia of the time. To commemorate this historic production, which gave the MAT its sense of identity, the company to this day bears the seagull as its emblem.
The White Dacha is the house that Anton Chekhov had built in Yalta and in which he wrote some of his greatest work. It is now a writer's house museum.
Alexander Pavlovich Chekhov, was a Russian novelist, short story writer, essayist and memoirist, and the elder brother of Anton Chekhov.
Melikhovo is a writer's house museum in the former country estate of the Russian playwright and writer Anton Chekhov. Chekhov lived in the estate from March 1892 until August 1899, and it is where he wrote some of his most famous plays and stories, including The Seagull and Uncle Vanya. The estate is about forty miles south of Moscow near Chekhov.
The Wood Demon is a comedic play in four acts by Anton Chekhov.
Vasily Ivanovich Kachalov, was one of Russia's most renowned actors. He worked closely and often with Konstantin Stanislavski. He led the so-called Kachalov Group within the Moscow Art Theatre. It was Kachalov who played Hamlet in the Symbolist production of 1911.
"A Misfortune", sometimes translated "Misfortune", is an 1886 story by Anton Chekhov. First published in Novoye Vremya, the story concerns Sofya Petrovna, the young wife of a country notary, whose attempts to turn away a suitor only expose her own desire for him and drive her toward an affair. The main theme is sexual enthrallment, a frequent concern in Chekhov's work during this period.
The Shooting Party is an 1884 novel by Anton Chekhov. It is his longest narrative work, and only full-length novel. Framed as a manuscript given to a publisher, it tells the story of an estate forester's daughter in a provincial Russian village, who is stabbed to death in the woods during a hunting party, and the efforts to uncover her killer.
"Gusev" is an 1890 short story by Anton Chekhov.
Sakhalin Island is a book by Anton Chekhov written and published in 1891–1893. It consists of "travel notes" written after Chekhov's trip to the island of Sakhalin in summer and autumn of 1890. The book is based on the writer's personal travel experience, as well as on extensive statistical data collected by him. The English translation came out in 1967 under the title The Island: A Journey to Sakhalin.
"Peasants" is an 1897 novella by Anton Chekhov. Upon its publication it became a literary sensation of the year, caused controversy but in retrospect is regarded as one of Chekhov's masterpieces.