51 Facts About Anton Chekhov


Anton Pavlovich Chekhov was a Russian playwright and short-story writer who is considered to be one of the greatest writers of all time.


Anton 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 produced Anton Chekhov's Uncle Vanya and premiered his last two plays, Three Sisters and The Cherry Orchard.


The plays that Anton Chekhov wrote were not complex, but easy to follow, and created a somewhat haunting atmosphere for the audience.


Anton Chekhov 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's mother, Yevgeniya, was an excellent storyteller who entertained the children with tales of her travels with her cloth-merchant father all over Russia.


Anton Chekhov attended the Greek School in Taganrog and the Taganrog Gymnasium, where he was held back for a year at fifteen for failing an examination in Ancient Greek.


Anton Chekhov sang at the Greek Orthodox monastery in Taganrog and in his father's choirs.

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In 1876, Anton Chekhov's father was declared bankrupt after overextending his finances building a new house, having been cheated by a contractor named Mironov.


Anton Chekhov's mother was physically and emotionally broken by the experience.


Anton Chekhov was left behind to sell the family's possessions and finish his education.


Anton 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.


Anton Chekhov sent every ruble he could spare to his family in Moscow, along with humorous letters to cheer them up.


Anton Chekhov experienced a series of love affairs, one with the wife of a teacher.


In 1884 and 1885, Anton Chekhov found himself coughing blood, and in 1886 the attacks worsened, but he would not admit his tuberculosis to his family or his friends.


In 1888, with a little string-pulling by Grigorovich, the short story collection At Dusk won Anton Chekhov the coveted Pushkin Prize "for the best literary production distinguished by high artistic worth".


In 1887, exhausted from overwork and ill health, Anton Chekhov took a trip to Ukraine, which reawakened him to the beauty of the steppe.


From this period comes an observation of Anton Chekhov's that has become known as Anton Chekhov's gun, a dramatic principle that requires that every element in a narrative be necessary and irreplaceable, and that everything else be removed.


In 1890, Anton 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 Anton Chekhov wrote during the two-and-a-half-month journey to Sakhalin are considered to be among his best.


Anton Chekhov witnessed much on Sakhalin that shocked and angered him, including floggings, embezzlement of supplies, and forced prostitution of women.


Anton Chekhov later concluded that charity was not the answer, but that the government had a duty to finance humane treatment of the convicts.


Anton Chekhov's findings were published in 1893 and 1894 as Ostrov Sakhalin, a work of social science, not literature.


Anton 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.


Anton 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.


In 1894, Anton Chekhov began writing his play The Seagull in a lodge he had built in the orchard at Melikhovo.

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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 Anton Chekhov into renouncing the theatre.


In March 1897, Anton Chekhov suffered a major haemorrhage of the lungs while on a visit to Moscow.


Anton Chekhov vowed to move to Taganrog as soon as a water supply was installed there.


Anton Chekhov took a year each over Three Sisters and The Cherry Orchard.


On 25 May 1901, Anton Chekhov married Olga Knipper quietly, owing to his horror of weddings.


Anton Chekhov was a former protegee and sometime lover of Nemirovich-Danchenko whom he had first met at rehearsals for The Seagull.


Up to that point, Anton Chekhov, known as "Russia's most elusive literary bachelor", had preferred passing liaisons and visits to brothels over commitment.


In Yalta, Anton Chekhov wrote one of his most famous stories, "The Lady with the Dog", 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.


In May 1903, Anton Chekhov visited Moscow; the prominent lawyer Vasily Maklakov visited him almost every day.


Mikhail Anton 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".


Anton Chekhov died on 15 July 1904 at the age of 44 after a long fight with tuberculosis, the same disease that killed his brother.


Anton Chekhov sat up unusually straight and said loudly and clearly : Ich sterbe.


Anton Chekhov took a full glass, examined it, smiled at me and said: 'It's a long time since I drank champagne.


Anton Chekhov's body was transported to Moscow in a refrigerated railway-car meant for oysters, a detail that offended Gorky.


Anton Chekhov was buried next to his father at the Novodevichy Cemetery.


Anton Chekhov's work found praise from several of Russia's most influential radical political thinkers.


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".


In Russia itself, Anton Chekhov's drama fell out of fashion after the revolution, but it was later incorporated into the Soviet canon.


Raymond Carver, who wrote the short story "Errand" about Anton Chekhov's death, believed that Anton Chekhov was the greatest of all short story writers:.


Anton Chekhov's stories are as wonderful now as when they first appeared.

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One of the first non-Russians to praise Anton 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 Anton Chekhov: "the same nice people, the same utter futility".


One can argue Anton Chekhov is the second-most popular writer on the planet.


Anton Chekhov has influenced the work of Japanese playwrights including Shimizu Kunio, Yoji Sakate, and Ai Nagai.


Nagai adapted Anton 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.


Anton Chekhov's works have been adapted for the screen, including Sidney Lumet's Sea Gull and Louis Malle's Vanya on 42nd Street.


Anton Chekhov's work has served as inspiration or been referenced in numerous films.