Tag Archives: chekhov

Chekhov on Happiness

In Chekhov’s story “Happiness” (1887), two shepherds talk to an overseer about fabulous treasure buried somewhere in the vast Russian steppe. We recognize the men’s search for treasure as an allegory on the quest for true happiness. The old shepherd … Continue reading

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This Unknown World

It’s about time that everyone who writes—especially genuine literary artists—admitted that “in this world you can’t figure things out.” . . . The crowd thinks it knows and understands everything; the stupider it is, the broader it imagines its outlook. … Continue reading

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Enlightenment without Ideas

People have the wrong ideas about ideas. They think that, to live right, one needs the correct abstractions, but more often ideas get in the way. In [Chekhov’s] “The Name-Day Party” (1888), a husband given to endless political argument exasperates … Continue reading

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Chekhov on religion

Though not religious, Chekhov often depicted religion at its best, which, for him, meant it could revivify a person’s sense of the world. – from “Chekhov’s Enlightenment” (The New Criterion)

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Why Chekhov Wrote

I still do not have a firm political, religious, and philosophical outlook: I change it monthly, and therefore I’m compelled to limit myself to the description of how heroes love, marry, produce children, die, and how they speak. – Chekhov

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