Anton Pavlovich Chekhov


Anton Pavlovich Chekhov Quotes

  • ''Probably nature itself gave man the ability to lie so that in difficult and tense moments he could protect his nest, just as do the vixen and wild duck.''
    Anton Pavlovich Chekhov (1860-1904), Russian author, playwright. Difficult People, Works, vol. 5, p. 328, "Nauka" (1976).
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  • ''Literature is my legal wife and medicine my mistress. When I get tired of one, I spend the night with the other.''
    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).
  • ''The world perishes not from bandits and fires, but from hatred, hostility, and all these petty squabbles.''
    Anton Pavlovich Chekhov (1860-1904), Russian author, playwright. Elena Andreevna in Uncle Vanya, act 1.
  • ''You ask "What is life?" That is the same as asking "What is a carrot?" A carrot is a carrot and we know nothing more.''
    Anton Pavlovich Chekhov (1860-1904), Russian author, playwright. Letter, April 20, 1904, to his wife, Olga Knipper Chekhov. Complete Works and Letters in Thirty Volumes, Letters, vol. 12, p. 93, "Nauka" (1983). Written two months before his death.
  • ''Dear and most respected bookcase! I welcome your existence, which has for over one hundred years been devoted to the radiant ideals of goodness and justice.''
    Anton Pavlovich Chekhov (1860-1904), Russian author, playwright. Gaev in The Cherry Orchard, act 1. The verbose Gaev spouts this rambling speech in a comic mode.
  • ''You were right: the sturgeon was a little off!''
    Anton Pavlovich Chekhov (1860-1904), Russian author, playwright. Gurov's companion in Lady with a Dog, Works, vol. 10, p. 137, "Nauka" (1976). Quoted by Russians when an interlocutor ignores a plea for real communication.
  • ''I have in my head a whole army of people pleading to be let out and awaiting my commands.''
    Anton Pavlovich Chekhov (1860-1904), Russian author, playwright. Letter, October 27, 1888, to his editor and friend, A.S. Suvorin. Complete Works and Letters in Thirty Volumes, Letters, vol. 3, p. 47, "Nauka" (1976).
  • ''I've noticed that people who get married cease to be curious.''
    Anton Pavlovich Chekhov (1860-1904), Russian author, playwright. Complete Works and Letters in Thirty Volumes, Works, Notebook IV, vol. 17, p. 156, "Nauka" (1980).
  • ''To Moscow! To Moscow! To Moscow!''
    Anton Pavlovich Chekhov (1860-1904), Russian author, playwright. Irina in Three Sisters, final line of act 2. The sisters never get to Moscow; the statement is emblematic of eternal and unfulfilled longing.
  • ''How unbearable at times are people who are happy, people for whom everything works out.''
    Anton Pavlovich Chekhov (1860-1904), Russian author, playwright. Complete Works and Letters in Thirty Volumes, Works, Notebook I, vol. 17, p. 93, "Nauka" (1980).

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