Chekhov’s Last Years
DOI link for Chekhov’s Last Years
Chekhov’s Last Years book
In the minds of most Russian readers Chekhov and Tolstoy were bracketed together as the two most important writers of the ‘nineties. Towards the end of the decade a third writer, Maxim Gorky, had begun to emerge, and was already attracting a comparable degree of attention. These three dominated the Russian literary scene, and it was natural that they should be keenly interested in each other’s work and personality. According to Gorky, Tolstoy’s attitude to Chekhov was one of fatherly love: ‘Tolstoy loved Chekhov and when he looked at him always seemed to be caressing his face with his eyes, which were almost tender at such moments.’ Returning to the assault on the new drama, Chekhov produced in The Seagull the first representative specimen of his mature manner. In this play, as in its successors, he tends to avoid any concentration on exciting dramatic incidents.