‘Medicine is my lawful wedded wife, and literature my mistress. When I’ve had enough of one, I can go and spend the night with the other’
From his teenage years in provincial Russia to his premature death in 1904, Anton Chekhov wrote thousands of letters to a wide range of correspondents. This fascinating new selection tells Chekhov’s story as a man and a writer through affectionate bulletins to his family, insightful discussions of literature with publishers and theatre directors, and tender love letters to his actress wife. Vividly evoking landscapes, people and his daily life, the letters offer revealing glimpses into Chekhov’s preoccupations – the onset of tuberculosis, his dual careers as doctor and writer, and his ambivalence about his growing reputation as Russia’s foremost playwright and author. This volume takes us inside the mind of one of the world’s great writers, and the character that emerges from these pages is resilient, generous, charming and life enhancing.
This is the first uncensored edition of the letters in any language, including previously unpublished material from the Russian archives, and the translation conveys the humour and warmth of Chekhov’s prose.