Letters of Anton Chekhov, by Anton Chekhov

To A. S. Suvorin.

YALTA, January 17, 1899.

. . . I have been reading Tolstoy’s son’s story: “The Folly of the Mir.” The construction of the story is poor, indeed it would have been better to write it simply as an article, but the thought is treated with justice and passion. I am against the Commune myself. There is sense in the Commune when one has to deal with external enemies who make frequent invasions, and with wild animals; but now it is a crowd artificially held together, like a crowd of convicts. They will tell us Russia is an agricultural country. That is so, but the Commune has nothing to do with that, at any rate at the present time. The commune exists by husbandry, but once husbandry begins to pass into scientific agriculture the commune begins to crack at every seam, as the commune and culture are not compatible ideas. Our national drunkenness and profound ignorance are, by the way, sins of the commune system. . . .

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