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This directory was made to come back (and all other pages) to work -- and finish the play about Chekhov.

I still would like to do it... but looks like only in my other life.

I do not havr time for it.

I do not spce in my mind for so many projects I thought of completing.

How did it happened that I (suddenly) ran out of time for so many things?

How come they, the masters, managed to write so much?

And so well.

Chekhov died so long ago.

Live only 44 years.

I am almost 60.

And what?


Chekhov - Love Letters Chekhov: "The university brings out all abilities including incapability."

The five-year friendship and marriage of Anton Chekhov and the actress Olga Knipper, who created many of the central female roles in his plays, is one of the most extraordinary love stories in the theatre. Separated by Knipper's work at the Moscow Art Theatre and Chekhov's illness which bound him to Yalta, their relationship flourished and survived almost insurmountable obstacles through a constant stream of letters.

After Chekhov's death, Olga Knipper kept a diary for some two months, consisting of imaginary letters to him.

August 19, 1904
At last I am able to write to you, Anton, my dear, my sweet, so near and yet so far! I don't know where you are now. I've been waiting a long time for the day when I could write to you. Today, I went to Moscow and visited your grave ... How splendid it is, if you only knew. After the arid south everything here seems so lush, so scented, so fragrant, it smells of earth and fresh grass, the trees make such a gentle sound. I can't believe you are not among the living! I need desperately to write to you, to tell you everything I have been through since your final illness and that moment when your heart stopped beating, your poor, sick, worn-out heart.
Now that I am actually writing to you, it seems strange but I have a quite irrational desire to do so. And as I write to you, I feel you are alive, out there somewhere, waiting for a letter. Dearest darling, my sweet love, let me speak some words of tenderness, let me stroke your soft, silky hair and look into your dear, shining, loving eyes. If only I knew whether you felt you were going to die. I think you did, vaguely perhaps, but you did .....

August 20 1904
Darling. I have just come back from seeing your brother, Ivan, I upset him by telling him about your last days but I felt it was good for him, even if it was distressing. And I could talk about everything, about you for ever, about Badenweiler, about something great, grand that occurred in that rich, emerald-green town in the Black Forest. Do you remember how we loved our carriage rides, our 'Rundreise', as we called them? You were so affectionate, I understood you so well at times like that. Do you remember how you would discreetly take my hand and squeeze if, and when I asked if you were all right, you would say nothing, just nod and give me a smile for an answer With what reverence I sometimes kissed your hand! You would hold my hand for a long time and so we drove through a fragrant pine wood. Your favourite spot was a lush, green glade, filled with sunlight. A stream babbled splendidly along a ditch and you kept telling the driver to drive more quietly, taking delight in a large expanse of fruit trees that stood in the open and weren't fenced in, and no one took or stole a single cherry or pear. You recalled our own, poor Russia... Do you remember the charming mill, so low it was completely hidden in the thick greenery and only the water sparkled on the wheel? How you liked the comfortable, clean villages and little gardens with the regulation rows of white lilies, rose bushes and kitchen gardens! And with what pain you said: Dearest, when will our peasant farmers live in little houses like these! Dearest, dearest one, where are you now ? ...

The letters collected in Dear Writer, Dear Actress are remarkable not only for their sublime, often poetic expressions of yearning, but also for a breadth of topic that ranges from the domestic banalities of dental appointments to the artistic immensities of mounting a new play. (The New York Times Book Review, Marilyn Stasio)

Ecco Pr (October 1, 1997) 0880015500

The Good Doctor -- Simon’s play is a series of short, wry vignettes unified by the character of the archetypal Writer, who wanders in and out of the action, which is comprised of short “Chekhovian” stories he has himself created. The Writer, Neil Simon says, “...could be one of many people—either Chekhov or the writer Trigorin in ‘The Seagull’ or me.”

The play’s title is also a play on words because Chekhov was a medical doctor as well as a playwright. Neil Simon’s nickname is “Doc” as well...


Books about Chekhov **

Chekhov in the spring of 1890 noted that "you would have me say, in depicting horse thieves, that stealing horses is an evil. But then, that has been known a long while, even without me. Let jurors judge them, for my business is only to show them as they are" (57). *

As samples of the Russian epistolary art, Chekhov's letters have been rated second only to Aleksandr Pushkin's by the literary historian D.S. Mirsky.


Poster Spring 2005 Finals *

Chekhov on DVD

Chekhov Books

Chekhov Plays

[ monologues ]

The Moscow Art Theatre by Nick Worrall; Routledge, 1996

Chekhov in My Life by David Magarshack, Lydia Avilov; Harcourt, Brace, 1950


2005 Spring (in classes) Farces by Chekhov:

CHEKHOV (writing his stories)

ACT I: Oh, Love!


Marriage Proposal

ACT II: Ah, Marriage!



Chekhov's Letters


GOODBYE (in-progress) -- Chekhov's Last Hour

LETTERS: he never "opened" (even at his last hour?)



... * chekhov online * kuprin on chekhov -- gorky on chekhov -- verisaev

* published: Random House, 1974 premiered: Eugene O'Neill Theatre, New York City, 1973

The Good Doctor, of course, is not a play at all. There are sketches, vaudeville scenes, if you will, written with my non-consenting collaborator, Anton Chekhov. Not the Chekhov of The Sea Gull and The Three Sisters, but the young man who wrote humorous articles for the newspapers to pay his way through medical school. It was a pastiche for me, an enjoyable interlude before getting on to bigger things. It was, to digress for a moment, a joyous experience for me. I met my wife doing this one. Some of the scenes worked; others didn't. The marriage, I'm glad to say, did.
NEIL SIMON Los Angeles, Nov. 7th, 1977 (McGovern, 1979)

MELIHOVO, November 26, 1896.


I am answering the chief substance of your letter—the question why we so rarely talk of serious subjects. When people are silent, it is because they have nothing to talk about or because they are ill at ease. What is there to talk about? We have no politics, we have neither public life nor club life, nor even a life of the streets; our civic existence is poor, monotonous, burdensome, and uninteresting—and to talk is as boring as corresponding with L. You say that we are literary men, and that of itself makes our life a rich one. Is that so? We are stuck in our profession up to our ears, it has gradually isolated us from the external world, and the upshot of it is that we have little free time, little money, few books, we read little and reluctantly, we hear little, we rarely go anywhere. Should we talk about literature? ... But we have talked about it already. Every year it’s the same thing again and again, and all we usually say about literature may be reduced to discussing who write better, and who write worse. Conversations upon wider and more general topics never catch on, because when you have tundras and Esquimaux all round you, general ideas, being so inappropriate to the reality, quickly lose shape and slip away like thoughts of eternal bliss. Should we talk of personal life? Yes, that may sometimes be interesting and we might perhaps talk about it; but there again we are constrained, we are reserved and insincere: we are restrained by an instinct of self-preservation and we are afraid. We are afraid of being overheard by some uncultured Esquimaux who does not like us, and whom we don’t like either. I personally am afraid that my acquaintance, N., whose cleverness attracts us, will hold forth with raised finger, in every railway carriage and every house about me, settling the question why I became so intimate with X. while I was beloved by Z. I am afraid of our morals, I am afraid of our ladies.... In short, for our silence, for the frivolity and dulness of our conversations, don’t blame yourself or me, blame what the critics call “the age,” blame the climate, the vast distances, what you will, and let circumstances go on their own fateful, relentless course, hoping for a better future.

Chekhov: "When a lot of remedies are suggested for a disease, that means it can't be cured."

Chekhov One act about Chekhov: the farces are within -- recalling, celebration of life with laughter, the characters are commenting on the dying writer...

Goodbye, goodbye...

Olga, wife, actress -- between him and the characters. One of them?

I am one of them, Antosha Chekonte...

Last laughter belongs to life? "Chekhov on Ice" -- or to him?

Tragedy? Beckett-like.

Olga Leonardovna Knipper (1868-1959) was the daughter of an engineer of German descent. She was educated in music, drawing, and foreign languages. After the death of her father left the family in dept, she went to drama school, later joining the Moscow Art Theater's original productions of Chekhov's plays, to great acclaim. In 1901 she married Chekhov. They were often separated during their marriage, and letters played an important part in their relationship; touchingly Olga continued to write Anton after his death in 1904. She also continued her brilliant acting career, touring Europe from 1919 to 1922, and the United States from 1923 to 1924. In 1943 she performed in the Moscow Art Theater's 300th performance of The Cherry Orchard. Olga died at age 89.

Chekhov and Knipper's decision to marry in May of 1901 was apparently spontaneous and took everyone by surprise, including Chekhov's sister Masha, and his good friends Maxim Gorky and Ivan Bunin. Of these, Gorky's response was the most benign. "They say you're getting married actress with a foreign name," Gorky wrote Chekhov. "I don't believe it. But if it is true, then I am glad" (147). Bunin, concerned by what he termed Knipper's "frivolous society life", was somewhat less congratulatory, proclaiming the union "...a suicide, worse than Sakhalin" (158).

Olga She is stupid. Maybe even a bitch. No talent. Got pregnant by another man (the child died). He married her only because he knew that he is dying. Did anything real happend between the two before he died?

His sister loved him. Maybe his mother, too.

His brothers?

Father -- the silence, not to call him an enemy.

Olga wanted Anton's fame and name. Did she like his writing. Trigorin -- he wrote about himself. Lubov' -- Olga.

What Stanislavsky thought of her as an actress?

[ Damn Russians, protecting Chekhov's legacy -- not a word about his visits to the whores! ]

What is known about her life (40 years) after Anton's death? The Moscow Art Theatre "Prima-donna"...