Letters of Anton Chekhov, by Anton Chekhov

To V. A. Posse.

YALTA, February 15, 1900.

MUCH RESPECTED VLADIMIR ALEXANDROVITCH,

“Foma Gordeyev” and in a superb binding too is a precious and touching present; I thank you from the bottom of my heart. A thousand thanks! I have read “Foma” only in bits, now I shall read it properly. Gorky should not be published in parts; either he must write more briefly, or you must put him in whole as the Vyestnik Evropy does with Boborykin. “Foma,” by the way, is very successful, but only with intelligent well-read people — with the young also. I once overheard in a garden the conversation of a lady (from Petersburg) with her daughter: the mother was abusing the book, the daughter was praising it. . . .

YALTA, February 29, 1900.

“Foma Gordeyev” is written all in one tone like a dissertation. All the characters speak alike, and their way of thinking is alike too. They all speak not simply but intentionally; they all have some idea in the background; as though there is something they know they don’t speak out: but in reality there is nothing they know, and it is simply their facon de parler.

There are wonderful passages in “Foma.” Gorky will make a very great writer if only he does not weary, does not grow cold and lazy.

http://ebooks.adelaide.edu.au/c/chekhov/anton/c51lt/chapter137.html

Last updated Friday, March 7, 2014 at 13:06