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On the soulders of giants


Anton Chekhov - quotes by the most famous playwright, Russian theatre

Medicine is my lawful wife, and literature is my mistress. When I get fed up with one, I spend the night with the other.

Anton Chekhov





Anton Chekhov (1860 – 1904) is the most famous Russian playwright.





Anton Chekhov - quotes by the most famous playwright, Russian theatre

Everything in a person should be beautiful:
face, clothes, soul, and thoughts.

Anton Chekhov


Anton Chekhov - quotes by the most famous playwright, Russian theatre

The role of the artist is to ask questions,
not answer them.

Anton Chekhov


Anton Chekhov - quotes by the most famous playwright, Russian theatre

The task of a writer is not to solve the problem but to state the problem correctly.

Anton Chekhov




Chekhov's 6 principles

that make a good story





① Absence of lengthy verbiage of a political-social-economic nature;

② Total objectivity;

③ Truthful descriptions of persons and objects;

④ Extreme brevity;

⑤ Audacity and originality: flee the stereotype;






What must human beings be, to destroy what they can never create?

If you want to work on your art, work on your life.

Nothing can be accomplished by logic and ethics.

Let us learn to appreciate there will be times when the trees will be bare, and look forward to the time when we may pick the fruit.

Do silly things. Foolishness is a great deal more vital and healthy than our straining and striving after a meaningful life.

I think human beings must have faith or must look for faith, otherwise our life is empty, empty. To live and not to know why the cranes fly, why children are born, why there are stars in the sky. You must know why you are alive, or else everything is nonsense, just blowing in the wind.
Man is what he believes.
Man will become better when you show him what he is like.
In all the universe nothing remains permanent and unchanged but the spirit.
Fine. Since the tea is not forthcoming, let's have a philosophical conversation.
The feelings that we experience when we are in love represent a normal state. Being in love shows a person who he should be.
Only one who loves can remember so well.
To fear love is to fear life, and those whose fear life are already three parts dead.
Only during hard times do people come to understand how difficult it is to be master of their feelings and thoughts.
Be sure not to discuss your hero's state of mind. Make it clear from his actions.
If ever my life can be of any use to you, come and claim it.
If you are afraid of loneliness, don't marry.
Don't tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.
There should be more sincerity and heart in human relations, more silence and simplicity in our interactions.
Any idiot can face a crisis; it's this day-to-day living that wears you out.
There is nothing more awful, insulting, and depressing than banality.
The world is, of course, nothing but our conception of it.
We shall find peace. We shall hear angels, we shall see the sky sparkling with diamonds.
Perhaps man has a hundred senses, and when he dies only the five senses that we know perish with him, and the other ninety-five remain alive.
Wisdom.... comes not from age, but from education and learning.
Knowledge is of no value unless you put it into practice.
Only fools and charlatans know everything and understand nothing.
A good upbringing means not that you won't spill sauce on the tablecloth, but that you won't notice it when someone else does.
These people have learned not from books, but in the fields, in the wood, on the river bank. Their teachers have been the birds themselves, when they sang to them, the sun when it left a glow of crimson behind it at setting, the very trees, and wild herbs.
They say philosophers and wise men are indifferent. Wrong. Indifference is a paralysis of the soul, a premature death.
There are a great many opinions in this world, and a good half of them are professed by people who have never been in trouble.
A woman can become a man's friend only in the following stages - first an acquantaince, next a mistress, and only then a friend.
I don't want to understand you. You have lost your reason and taken the wrong path. You have taken lies for truth, and hideousness for beauty.
You must trust and believe in people or life becomes impossible.
Love, friendship and respect do not unite people as much as a common hatred for something.

“Civilized people must, I believe, satisfy the following criteria:

1) They respect human beings as individuals and are therefore always tolerant, gentle, courteous and amenable ... They do not create scenes over a hammer or a mislaid eraser; they do not make you feel they are conferring a great benefit on you when they live with you, and they don't make a scandal when they leave. (...)

2) They have compassion for other people besides beggars and cats. Their hearts suffer the pain of what is hidden to the naked eye. (...)

3) They respect other people's property, and therefore pay their debts.

4) They are not devious, and they fear lies as they fear fire. They don't tell lies even in the most trivial matters. To lie to someone is to insult them, and the liar is diminished in the eyes of the person he lies to. Civilized people don't put on airs; they behave in the street as they would at home, they don't show off to impress their juniors. (...)

5) They don't run themselves down in order to provoke the sympathy of others. They don't play on other people's heartstrings to be sighed over and cosseted ... that sort of thing is just cheap striving for effects, it's vulgar, old hat and false. (...)

6) They are not vain. They don't waste time with the fake jewellery of hobnobbing with celebrities, being permitted to shake the hand of a drunken [judicial orator], the exaggerated bonhomie of the first person they meet at the Salon, being the life and soul of the bar ... They regard prases like 'I am a representative of the Press!!' -- the sort of thing one only hears from [very minor journalists] -- as absurd. If they have done a brass farthing's work they don't pass it off as if it were 100 roubles' by swanking about with their portfolios, and they don't boast of being able to gain admission to places other people aren't allowed in (...) True talent always sits in the shade, mingles with the crowd, avoids the limelight ... As Krylov said, the empty barrel makes more noise than the full one. (...)

7) If they do possess talent, they value it ... They take pride in it ... they know they have a responsibility to exert a civilizing influence on [others] rather than aimlessly hanging out with them. And they are fastidious in their habits. (...)

8) They work at developing their aesthetic sensibility ... Civilized people don't simply obey their baser instincts ... they require mens sana in corpore sano (a healthy mind in a healthy body).

And so on. That's what civilized people are like ... Reading Pickwick and learning a speech from Faust by heart is not enough if your aim is to become a truly civilized person and not to sink below the level of your surroundings.


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