Quotations From ANTON PAVLOVICH CHEKHOV


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  • Each of us is full of too many wheels, screws and valves to permit us to judge one another on a first impression or by two or three external signs.
    Anton Pavlovich Chekhov (1860-1904), Russian author, playwright. Ivanov in Ivanov, act 3, sc. 6.
  • Despite your best efforts, you could not invent a better police force for literature than criticism and the author's own conscience.
    Anton Pavlovich Chekhov (1860-1904), Russian author, playwright. Letter, January 14, 1887, to M.V. Kiseleva. Complete Works and Letters in Thirty Volumes, Letters, vol. 2, p. 12, "Nauka" (1976).
  • Better a debauched canary than a pious wolf.
    Anton Pavlovich Chekhov (1860-1904), Russian author, playwright. Noxious Thoughts, Works, vol. 3, p. 195, "Nauka" (1976).
  • We live not in order to eat, but in order not to know what we feel like eating.
    Anton Pavlovich Chekhov (1860-1904), Russian author, playwright. The Fruits of Long Meditations, Works, vol. 2, p. 371, "Nauka" (1976).
  • Death is terrifying, but it would be even more terrifying to find out that you are going to live forever and never die.
    Anton Pavlovich Chekhov (1860-1904), Russian author, playwright. Complete Works and Letters in Thirty Volumes, Works, Notebook I, vol. 17, p. 67, "Nauka" (1980).

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  • What seems to us serious, significant and important will, in future times, be forgotten or won't seem important at all.
    Anton Pavlovich Chekhov (1860-1904), Russian author, playwright. Vershinin in Three Sisters, act 1.

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  • I don't know why one can't chase two rabbits at the same time, even in the literal sense of those words. If you have the hounds, go ahead and pursue.
    Anton Pavlovich Chekhov (1860-1904), Russian author, playwright. Letter, September 11, 1888, to his editor and friend, A.S. Suvorin. Complete Works and Letters in Thirty Volumes, Letters, vol. 2, p. 326, "Nauka" (1976). Response to Russian proverb "You can't pursue two hares at once."

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  • Satiation, like any state of vitality, always contains a degree of impudence, and that impudence emerges first and foremost when the sated man instructs the hungry one.
    Anton Pavlovich Chekhov (1860-1904), Russian author, playwright. Letter, October 20, 1891, to his editor and friend, A.S. Suvorin. Complete Works and Letters in Thirty Volumes, Letters, vol. 4, p. 286, "Nauka" (1976).
  • Life is difficult for those who have the daring to first set out on an unknown road. The avant-garde always has a bad time of it.
    Anton Pavlovich Chekhov (1860-1904), Russian author, playwright. Letter, May 14, 1889, to his editor and friend, A.S. Suvorin. Complete Works and Letters in Thirty Volumes, Letters, vol. 3, p. 215, "Nauka" (1976).

    Read more quotations about / on: time, life
  • The problem is that we attempt to solve the simplest questions cleverly, thereby rendering them unusually complex. One should seek the simple solution.
    Anton Pavlovich Chekhov (1860-1904), Russian author, playwright. Complete Works and Letters in Thirty Volumes, Works, vol. 17, p. 213, "Nauka" (1980).
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