Letters of Anton Chekhov, by Anton Chekhov

To F. D. Batyushkov.

YALTA, January 24, 1900.

MUCH RESPECTED F. D.,

Roche asks me to send him the passages from “Peasants” which were cut out by the Censor, but there were no such passages. There is one chapter which has not appeared in the magazine, nor in the book. It was a conversation of the peasants about religion and government. But there is no need to send that chapter to Paris, as indeed there was no need to translate “Peasants” into French at all.

I thank you most sincerely for the photograph; Ryepin’s illustration is an honour I had not expected or dreamed of. It will be very pleasant to have the original; tell Ilya Efimovitch [Footnote: Ryepin, who was, at the request of Roche, the French translator, illustrating the French edition of Chekhov’s “Peasants.”] that I shall expect it with impatience, and that he cannot change his mind now, as I have already bequeathed the original to the town of Taganrog — in which, by the way, I was born.

In your letter you speak of Gorky: how do you like Gorky? I don’t like everything he writes, but there are things I like very, very much, and to my mind there is not a shadow of doubt that Gorky is made of the dough of which artists are made. He is the real thing. He’s a fine man, clever, thinking, and thoughtful. But there is a lot of unnecessary ballast upon him and in him — for example, his provincialism. . . .

Thanks very much for your letter, for remembering me. I am dull here, I am sick of it, and I have a feeling as though I have been thrown overboard. And the weather’s bad too, and I am not well. I still go on coughing. All good wishes.

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