Talk:Anton Chekhov

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There's an oft-cited quote by Chekhov which goes something along the lines of "I am utterly astounded whenever I encounter a cultivated man who holds to religon" - or something like that. Does anyone know the one I'm talking about or have a source? 05:35, 29 July 2007 (UTC)

Checkov's Gun[edit]

I'm not an editor here, I don't know the rules, so I won't take on the liberty of editing it (I know, anyone can edit, but I don't have time to read guidelines on a new wiki), but the wikipedia article for Checkhov's Gun has a source for the statement, which is currently listed as unsourced:

"If in the first act you have hung a pistol on the wall, then in the following one it should be fired. Otherwise don't put it there." From Gurlyand's Reminiscences of A. P. Chekhov, in Teatr i iskusstvo 1904, No 28, July 11, p. 521.’ footnote: In 1889, twenty-four-year old Ilia Gurliand noted these words down from Chekhov's conversation: "If in Act I you have a pistol hanging on the wall, then it must fire in the last act". Donald Rayfield, Anton Chekhov: A Life, New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1997, ISBN 0-8050-5747-1, 203. Ernest.J.Simmons says that Chekhov repeated the point later (which may account for the variations). Ernest J. Simmons, Chekhov: A Biography, Chicago: Chicago University Press, 1962, ISBN 0-226-75805-2, 190.

Anyway, hope that helps. If you need to contact me I'm on wikipedia as user Kuronue. 15:30, 24 October 2007 (UTC)


Wikiquote no longer allows unsourced quotations, and they are in process of being removed from our pages (see Wikiquote:Limits on quotations); but if you can provide a reliable and precise source for any quote on this list please move it to Anton Chekhov. --Antiquary 19:31, 2 March 2009 (UTC)

  • 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.
  • An enormously vast field lies between “God exists” and “there is no God.” The truly wise man traverses it with great difficulty. A Russian knows one or the other of these two extremes, but is not interested in the middle ground. He usually knows nothing, or very little.
  • I’ve thought about how, were we to suddenly receive the freedom about which we talk so much when we spar with one another, we would not know what to do with it at first. We would expend it on denouncing one another in the newspapers for spying, for love of the ruble, we would frighten society with protestations that we have no people, no science, no literature, nothing at all!
  • It always seems to the brothers and the father that their brother or son didn’t marry the right person.
  • Literature is my legal wife and medicine my mistress. When I get tired of one, I spend the night with the other.
  • Love is a great thing. It is not by chance that in all times and practically among all cultured peoples love in the general sense and the love of a man for his wife are both called love. If love is often cruel or destructive, the reasons lie not in love itself, but in the inequality between people.
  • Not everyone knows how to be silent or to leave in good time. It happens that even people of good breeding fail to notice that their presence provokes in the weary or preoccupied host a feeling akin to hatred, and that this feeling is tensely concealed and covered up with lies.
  • Not one of our mortal gauges is suitable for evaluating non-existence, for making judgments about that which is not a person.
  • Nothing lulls and inebriates like money; when you have a lot, the world seems a better place than it actually is.
  • The desire to serve the common good must without fail be a requisite of the soul, a necessity for personal happiness; if it issues not from there, but from theoretical or other considerations, it is not at all the same thing.
  • The more cultured a man, the less fortunate he is.
  • We go to great pains to alter life for the happiness of our descendants and our descendants will say as usual: things used to be so much better, life today is worse than it used to be.
  • Any idiot can face a crisis; it is this day-to-day living that wears you out. (This one has been shown to be a misattribution)
  • Man will become better when you show him what he is like.