Letters of Anton Chekhov, by Anton Chekhov

To A. S. Suvorin,

YALTA, March 10, 1900.

No winter has ever dragged on so long for me as this one, and time merely drags and does not move, and now I realize how stupid it was of me to leave Moscow. I have lost touch with the north without getting into touch with the south, and one can think of nothing in my position but to go abroad. After the spring, winter has begun here again in Yalta — snow, rain, cold, mud — simply disgusting.

The Moscow Art Theatre will be in Yalta in April; it will bring its scenery and decorations. All the tickets for the four days advertised were sold in one day, although the prices have been considerably raised. They will give among other things Hauptmann’s “Lonely Lives,” a magnificent play in my opinion. I read it with great pleasure, although I am not fond of plays, and the production at the Art Theatre they say is marvellous.

There is no news. There is one great event, though: N.’s “Socrates” is printed in the Neva Supplement. I have read it, but with great effort. It is not Socrates but a dull-witted, captious, opinionated man, the whole of whose wisdom and interest is confined to tripping people up over words. There is not a trace or vestige of talent in it, but it is quite possible that the play might be successful because there are words in it such as “amphora,” and Karpov says it would stage well.

How many consumptives there are here! What poverty, and how worried one is with them! The hotels and lodging-houses here won’t take in those who are seriously ill. You can imagine the awful cases that may be seen here. People are dying from exhaustion, from their surroundings, from complete neglect, and this in blessed Taurida!

One loses all relish for the sun and the sea. . . .

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