Chekhov’s Approach to Fiction
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Chekhov’s Approach to Fiction book
Chekhov’s numerous comments on literature reveal an unassuming approach, very near in many ways to that of any ordinary reader. Chekhov’s irritation with critics dates from the mid-’eighties, when his work first became important enough to attract their attention. He retained this hostility during the whole of his life, as witnessed by a large number of stinging remarks, of which the one most often quoted appears in Gorky’s reminiscences: ‘Critics,’ said Chekhov, ‘are like gad-flies which prevent horses from ploughing. Although Chekhov did not himself publish critical articles, his correspondence is so full of references to literature that it is not difficult to form an impression of his tastes and interests. Naturally he was most attracted by plays and fiction, for it was fascinating and instructive at the same time to observe another man’s approach to the types of writing he himself practised.