Letters of Anton Chekhov, by Anton Chekhov

To Gorky.

MOSCOW, April 25, 1899.

. . . The day before yesterday I was at L. N. Tolstoy’s; he praised you very highly and said that you were “a remarkable writer.” He likes your “The Fair” and “In the Steppe” and does not like “Malva.” He said: “You can invent anything you like, but you can’t invent psychology, and in Gorky one comes across just psychological inventions: he describes what he has never felt.” So much for you! I said that when you were next in Moscow we would go together to see him.

When will you be in Moscow? On Thursday there will be a private performance — for me — of “The Seagull.” If you come to Moscow I will give you a seat. . . .

From Petersburg I get painful letters, as it were from the damned, [Footnote: From Suvorin.] and it’s painful to me as I don’t know what to answer, how to behave. Yes, life when it is not a psychological invention is a difficult business. . . .


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