Anton Pavlovich Chekhov, 1860 - 1904

portrait of Anton Chekhov
Oil on canvas by Osip Braz (1898)
Anton Chekhov signature

Born: 29 January 1860 (OS: 17 January 1860), Taganrog, Ukraine, Russian Empire
Died: 15 July 1904, Badenweiler, Baden-W

When Chekhov was born, Russian society was in flux: The serfs were all freed the next year. His father's business failed and the family moved to Moscow where Chekhov was educated. He originally wrote short stories to help pay for medical school, but he became even more serious about his writing after his career as a physician started. For health reasons he spent several years in France, indulging his appetite for farce in the theater. His most important work was written in the last decade of his life, plays that he considered comedies with tragic incidents. He was frustrated at the number of productions that presented them as tragedies with light moments. I'm with Chekhov, we're much healthier to look around us and see life as a farce with some bad times to overcome than to see life as a series of problems.

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