Letters of Anton Chekhov, by Anton Chekhov

To Madame Avilov.

MELIHOVO, July, 1894.

I have so many visitors that I cannot answer your last letter. I want to write at length but am pulled up at the thought that any minute they may come in and hinder me. And in fact while I write the word “hinder,” a girl has come in and announced that a patient has arrived; I must go. . . . I have grown to detest writing, and I don’t know what to do. I would gladly take up medicine and would accept any sort of post, but I no longer have the physical elasticity for it. When I write now or think I ought to write I feel as much disgust as though I were eating soup from which I had just removed a beetle — forgive the comparison. What I hate is not the writing itself, but the literary entourage from which one cannot escape, and which one takes everywhere as the earth takes its atmosphere. . . .


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