ANTON CHEKHOV Biography - Writers


Biography » writers » anton chekhov


Name: Anton Chekhov                                                                 
Born: 29 January 1860                                                               
Died: 2 July  1904                                                                   
Anton Pavlovich Chekhov (Russian)                                                   
was a Russian short story writer and playwright. He was born in                     
Taganrog, southern Russia, on 29 January  1860, and died of                         
tuberculosis at the health spa of Badenweiler, Germany, on 2 July                   
1904. His playwriting career produced four classics, while his best short           
stories are held in high esteem by writers and critics.Chekhov practiced             
as a doctor throughout most of his literary career: "Medicine is my lawful wife,"   
he once said, "and literature is my mistress".                                       
Chekhov renounced the theatre after the disastrous reception of The Seagull in       
1896; but the play was revived to acclaim by Constantin Stanislavski's Moscow       
Art Theatre, which subsequently also produced Uncle Vanya and premiered Chekhov’s 
last two plays, Three Sisters and The Cherry Orchard. These four works present a     
special challenge to the acting ensemble as well as to audiences, because in         
place of conventional action Chekhov offers a "theatre of mood" and a "submerged     
life in the text". Not everyone appreciated that challenge: Leo Tolstoy             
reportedly told Chekhov, "You know, I cannot abide Shakespeare, but your plays       
are even worse".                                                                     
Tolstoy did, however, admire Chekhov's short stories. Chekhov had at first           
written stories only for the money, but as his artistic ambition grew, he made       
formal innovations which have influenced the evolution of the modern short story.   
His originality consists in an early use of the stream-of-consciousness             
technique, later employed by Virginia Woolf and other modernists, combined with     
a disavowal of the moral finality of traditional story structure. 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.