HAPPY BIRTHDAY – Anton Chekhov, born 29 January 1860
“There is nothing new in art except talent.”
Chekhov was such a lovely man – a doctor who often treated poor patients for free, a man who fought for reforms, and a man with great charm. His dying words were to ask for a glass of champagne since it had been a long time since he’d had one. The poor man had coughed out his lungs with TB.
My favourite Chekhov story is The Lady with the Lapdog. I’d love one day to visit Yalta and see the statue of the two characters from that story which has been erected there. His short stories are so powerful and evocative. I’m not quite as keen on Chekhov’s plays – they are so depressing – but I can see how avant-garde they were, and how they helped change the face of theatre.
Anton Chekhov died on 15 July 1904, aged 44.
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