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Anton Chekhov

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Short Story Writer and Physician.

Anton Pavlovich Chekhov (29 January 1860 – 15 July 1904) was a Russian physician, dramatist and author who is considered to be among the greatest writers of short stories in history. His career as a dramatist produced four classics and 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 theater after the disastrous reception of The Seagull in 1896, but the play was revived to acclaim in 1898 by Constantin Stanislavski's Moscow Art Theatre, which subsequently also produced Chekhov's Uncle Vanya and premiered his last two plays, Three Sisters and The Cherry Orchard. These four works present a 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."

Chekhov had at first written stories only for financial gain, 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 adopted by James Joyce 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.


Sources:

1.) Simon Karlinsky, ed. (1997). Anton Chekhov's Life and Thought: Selected Letters and Commentary. Northwestern University Press. p. 13. ISBN 9780810114609. "While Anton did not turn into the kind of militant atheist that his older brother Alexander eventually became, there is no doubt that he was a nonbeliever in the last decades of his life.

2.) Tabachnikova, Olga (2010). Anton Chekhov Through the Eyes of Russian Thinkers: Vasilii Rozanov, Dmitrii Merezhkovskii and Lev Shestov. Anthem Press. p. 26. ISBN 978-1-84331-841-5. "For Rozanov, Chekhov represents a concluding stage of classical Russian literature at the turn of the centuries, caused by the 'fading' of a thousand' years old Christian tradition which was spiritually feeding this literature. On the one hand, Rozanov regards Chekhov's positivism and atheism as his shortcomings, naming them amongst the reasons of Chekhov's popularity in society."

3.) Richard Pevear (2009). Selected Stories of Anton Chekov. Random House Digital, Inc.. pp. xxii. ISBN 9780307568281. "“In his revelation of those evangelical elements," writes Leonid Grossman, “the atheist Chekhov is unquestionably one of the most Christian poets of world literature.""