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Anton Chekhov

(1860 - 1904)

Anton Pavlovich Chekhov was a Russian playwright and short-story writer who is considered one of the greatest short fiction authors in history. Born in Taganrog, Russia, Chekhov was the third of six children in a family that struggled financially. To support his family, he pursued a medical career while writing on the side.

Chekhov's literary work began with short, humorous sketches and vignettes of contemporary Russian life, many published under pseudonyms in various periodicals. As his writing evolved, he developed a unique style characterized by its understated realism, concise narrative, and compassion for every character. He captured the complexities of Russian society, focusing on the lives of ordinary people, their inner turmoil, and the dynamics of human relationships.

His major plays, including "The Seagull" (1896), "Uncle Vanya" (1898), "Three Sisters" (1901), and "The Cherry Orchard" (1904), revolutionized modern drama with their subtlety and depth. Chekhov's contributions to the theatre introduced a new approach to character and dialogue, which eschewed melodrama for the profundity found in everyday life. His works often address themes of futility and the human condition, leaving a profound impact on both Russian and world literature.

Chekhov's legacy as a literary artist extends beyond his written work. He practiced medicine throughout his life and often treated the poor for free, viewing medicine as his lawful wife and literature as his mistress. His humane outlook enriched his literary perspective, making him one of the enduring voices of nineteenth-century literature.

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