Famous Quotes & Sayings

Anton Chekhov Quotes & Sayings

Enjoy the top 100 famous quotes, sayings and quotations by Anton Chekhov.

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Anton Chekhov Quotes 919494

All I wanted was to say honestly to people: 'Have a look at yourselves and see how bad and dreary your lives are!' The important thing is that people should realize that, for when they do, they will most certainly create another and better life for themselves. I will not live to see it, but I know that it will be quite different, quite unlike our present life. And so long as this different life does not exist, I shall go on saying to people again and again: 'Please, understand that your life is bad and dreary!' — Anton Chekhov

Anton Chekhov Quotes 1277732

[Six principles that make for a good story:] 1. Absence of lengthy verbiage of a political-social-economic nature; 2. total objectivity; 3. truthful descriptions of persons and objects; 4. extreme brevity; 5. audacity and originality: flee the stereotype; 6. compassion. — Anton Chekhov

Anton Chekhov Quotes 2254757

When you look for a long time into the deep sky, without taking your eyes away, your thoughts and soul merge for some reason in an awareness of loneliness. You begin to feel yourself irremediably alone, and all that you once considered close and dear becomes infinitely distant and devoid of value. — Anton Chekhov

Anton Chekhov Quotes 560644

We old bachelors smell like dogs, do we? So be it. But I must take issue with your claim that doctors who treat female illnesses are womanizers and cynics at heart. Gynecologists deal with savage prose the likes of which you have never dreamed of. — Anton Chekhov

Anton Chekhov Quotes 873983

It is not that branches of knowledge fight with one another, not poetry with anatomy, but fallacies, i.e., people. When a man does not understand a thing, he feels discord within himself: he seeks causes for this dissonance not in himself, as he should, but outside himself, and the result is war with something he does not understand. — Anton Chekhov

Anton Chekhov Quotes 284641

Anna Petrovna: Never talk to women about your own good qualities. Let them find out for themselves. — Anton Chekhov

Anton Chekhov Quotes 232324

There is no national science, just as there is no national multiplication table; what is national is no longer science. — Anton Chekhov

Anton Chekhov Quotes 1900630

To torment and tantalize oneself with hopes of possible fortune is so sweet, so thrilling! — Anton Chekhov

Anton Chekhov Quotes 466955

In a century or two, or in a millennium, people will live in a new way, a happier way. We won"t be there to see it - but it"s why we live, why we work. It"s why we suffer. We"re creating it. That"s the purpose of our existence. The only happiness we can know is to work toward that goal. — Anton Chekhov

Anton Chekhov Quotes 1291783

And you know that anyone who at least once in his life has caught a perch or seen blackbirds migrating in the fall, when they rush in flocks over the village on clear, cool days, is no longer a townsman, and will be drawn towards freedom till his dying day. — Anton Chekhov

Anton Chekhov Quotes 1689302

One is shy of asking men under sentence what they have been sentenced for; and in the same way it is awkward to ask very rich people what they want so much money for, why they make such a poor use of their wealth, why they don't give it up, even when they see in it their unhappiness; — Anton Chekhov

Anton Chekhov Quotes 2201387

There sprang up between them the light jesting conversation of people who are free and satisfied, to whom it does not matter where they go or what they talk about. — Anton Chekhov

Anton Chekhov Quotes 1959051

However you feed a wolf she will always look toward the forest — Anton Chekhov

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Write whatever you like. If you haven't the facts, substitute lyricism. — Anton Chekhov

Anton Chekhov Quotes 1038840

But i'm old now, no longer fit for the fray, i'm even incapable of hating. I only feel sick at heart, irritable and exasperated. At night my head seems to be on fire with so many thoughts crowding in and i can't get any sleep ... Oh, if only i were young again! — Anton Chekhov

Anton Chekhov Quotes 997912

Hypocrisy is a revolting, psychopathic state. — Anton Chekhov

Anton Chekhov Quotes 334784

In the days when I didn't know people were reading and judging me, I wrote serenely, as if eating bliny; now I am afraid when I write. — Anton Chekhov

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Calculating selfishness is the annihilation of self. — Anton Chekhov

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I'm in mourning for my life. — Anton Chekhov

Anton Chekhov Quotes 1894817

One must be a god to be able to tell successes from failures without making a mistake. — Anton Chekhov

Anton Chekhov Quotes 1210135

And I despise your books, I despise wisdom and the blessings of this world. It is all worthless, fleeting, illusory, and deceptive, like a mirage. You may be proud, wise, and fine, but death will wipe you off the face of the earth as though you were no more than mice burrowing under the floor, and your posterity, your history, your immortal geniuses will burn or freeze together with the earthly globe. — Anton Chekhov

Anton Chekhov Quotes 1381684

Shabelsky: I'd go into the flames of hell, into the jaws of the crocodile, just so as not to stay here. I am bored.
I've become dulled from boredom. I've got on everyone's nerves. You leave me at home so she isn't bored alone, but I've made her life hell, I've eaten her up! — Anton Chekhov

Anton Chekhov Quotes 1403212

You will not become a saint through other people's sins. — Anton Chekhov

Anton Chekhov Quotes 573897

And what does it mean
dying? Perhaps man has a hundred senses, and only the five we know are lost at death, while the other ninety-five remain alive. — Anton Chekhov

Anton Chekhov Quotes 1389309

The more elevated a culture, the richer its language. The number of words and their combinations depends directly on a sum of conceptions and ideas; without the latter there can be no understandings, no definitions, and, as a result, no reason to enrich a language. — Anton Chekhov

Anton Chekhov Quotes 762052

And therefore I should be very desirous to be united in the bonds of Hymen — Anton Chekhov

Anton Chekhov Quotes 352733

And the man who seeks salvation in change of place like a migrating bird would find nothing anywhere, for all the world is alike to him. — Anton Chekhov

Anton Chekhov Quotes 215561

The teacher must be an actor, an artist,passionately in love with his work. — Anton Chekhov

Anton Chekhov Quotes 268118

Warmly and impulsively he put his arms round her and covered her knees and hands with kisses. Then when she muttered something and shuddered with the thought of the past, he stroked her hair, and looking into her face, realised that this unhappy, sinful woman was the one creature near and dear to him, whom no one could replace. When he went out of the house and got into the carriage he wanted to return home alive. — Anton Chekhov

Anton Chekhov Quotes 2199504

A sweet lie is more gracious for us than a virulent but real truth. — Anton Chekhov

Anton Chekhov Quotes 573939

In this town to know three languages is an unnecessary luxury. It's not even a luxury, but a sort of unnecessary addition, like a sixth finger. We have a great deal of superfluous knowledge. — Anton Chekhov

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IT was said that a new person had appeared on the sea-front: a lady with a little dog. — Anton Chekhov

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Write only of what is important and eternal. — Anton Chekhov

Anton Chekhov Quotes 130688

They say we fear only what we don't understand. And, indeed, it's very hard to understand why doormen and ushers are so important, so arrogant, and so majestically impolite. When I read serious articles I feel exactly the same vague fear. — Anton Chekhov

Anton Chekhov Quotes 140620

Medicine is my lawful wife, and literature is my mistress. When I get fed up with one, I spend the night with the other — Anton Chekhov

Anton Chekhov Quotes 175953

A doctrine which advocates indifference to wealth and to the comforts of life, and a contempt for suffering and death [the Stoics'] is quite unintelligible to the vast majority of men, since that majority has never known wealth or the comforts of life; and to despise suffering would mean to despise life itself, since the whole existence of man is made up of the sensations of hunger, cold, injury, loss, and a Hamlet-like dread of death. — Anton Chekhov

Anton Chekhov Quotes 195072

Pelageya sits down a bit further away in a patch of sun and, ashamed of her joy, covers her smiling mouth with her hand. — Anton Chekhov

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Watching a woman make Russian pancakes, you might think that she was calling on the spirits or extracting from the batter the philosopher's stone. — Anton Chekhov

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There is no greater sorrow than to know another's secret when you cannot help them. — Anton Chekhov

Anton Chekhov Quotes 581749

I believe that nothing passes without a trace and that each of our smallest steps has significance for the present and the future. — Anton Chekhov

Anton Chekhov Quotes 683358

A man who under the influence of mental pain or unbearably oppressive suffering sends a bullet through his own head is called a suicide; but for those who give freedom to their pitiful, soul-debasing passions in the holy days of spring and youth there is no name in man's vocabulary. After the bullet follows the peace of the grave: ruined youth is followed by years of grief and painful recollections. He who has profaned his spring will understand the present condition of my soul. I am not yet old, or grey, but I no longer live. Psychiaters tell us that a solider, who was wounded at Waterloo, went mad, and afterwards assured everybody - and believed it himself - that he had died at Waterloo, and that what was now considered to be him was only his shadow, a reflection of the past. I am now experiencing something resembling this semi-death.. — Anton Chekhov

Anton Chekhov Quotes 711765

Lvov: Now explain, give me an account of how it is that you, an intelligent, honest, almost saintly woman, have allowed yourself to be so brazenly deceived, to be dragged into this owl's nest. Why are you here? What have you in common with this cold, heartless ... but let's forget your husband
what do you have in common with this empty vulgar milieu? — Anton Chekhov

Anton Chekhov Quotes 714192

There is nothing more vapid than a philistine petty bourgeois existence with its farthings, victuals, vacuous conversations, and useless conventional virtue. — Anton Chekhov

Anton Chekhov Quotes 816459

Do you see that tree? It is dead but it still sways in the wind with the others. I think it would be like that with me. That if I died I would still be part of life in one way or another. — Anton Chekhov

Anton Chekhov Quotes 829865

The unhappy are egoistic, spiteful, unjust, cruel, and less capable of understanding each other than fools. Unhappiness does not bring people together but draws them apart, and even where one would fancy people should be united by the similarity of their sorrow, far more injustice and cruelty is generated than in comparatively placid surroundings. — Anton Chekhov

Anton Chekhov Quotes 832562

therefore the idea of the service of humanity, of brotherly love and the solidarity of mankind, is more and more dying out in the world, and indeed this idea is sometimes treated with derision. — Anton Chekhov

Anton Chekhov Quotes 852008

An artist observes, selects, guesses, and synthesizes. — Anton Chekhov

Anton Chekhov Quotes 879535

Despicable means used to achieve laudable goals render the goals themselves despicable. — Anton Chekhov

Anton Chekhov Quotes 910111

you devil's doll! — Anton Chekhov

Anton Chekhov Quotes 960359

A man can deceive his fiancee or his mistress as much as he likes and, in the eyes of a woman he loves, an ass may pass for a philosopher. But a daughter is a different matter. — Anton Chekhov

Anton Chekhov Quotes 989223

Neither I nor anyone else knows what a standard is. We all recognize a dishonorable act, but have no idea what honor is. — Anton Chekhov

Anton Chekhov Quotes 989233

A woman is fascinated not by art but by the noise made by those in the field. — Anton Chekhov

Anton Chekhov Quotes 1005846

Sometimes we go to a play and after the curtain has been up five minutes we have a sense of being able to settle back in the arms of the playwright. Instinctively we know that the playwright knows his business. — Anton Chekhov

Anton Chekhov Quotes 1027856

Ne has to be a mindless barbarian to burn such beauty in a stove, to destroy what we can not create.. — Anton Chekhov

Anton Chekhov Quotes 1070853

A good man's indifference is as good as any religion. — Anton Chekhov

Anton Chekhov Quotes 1094123

Ivanov: With a heavy head, with a slothful spirit, exhausted, overstretched, broken, without faith, without love, without a goal, I roam like a shadow among men and I don't know who I am, why I'm alive, what I want. And I now think that love is nonsense, that embraces are cloying, that there's no sense in work, that song and passionate speeches are vulgar and outmoded. And everywhere I take with me depression, chill boredom, dissatisfaction, revulsion from life ... I am destroyed, irretrievably! — Anton Chekhov

Anton Chekhov Quotes 1138541

An actress without talent, forty years old, ate a partridge for dinner, and I felt sorry for the partridge, for it occurred to me that in its life it had been more talented, more sensible, and more honest than the actress. — Anton Chekhov

Anton Chekhov Quotes 1140802

When a person hasn't in him that which is higher and stronger than all external influences, it is enough for him to catch a good cold in order to lose his equilibrium and begin to see an owl in every bird, to hear a dog's bark in every sound. — Anton Chekhov

Anton Chekhov Quotes 1202258

Women writers should write a lot if they want to write. Take the English women, for example. What amazing workers. — Anton Chekhov

Anton Chekhov Quotes 1275573

An artist's flair is sometimes worth a scientist's brains. — Anton Chekhov

Anton Chekhov Quotes 1325318

I understand that in our work - doesn't matter whether it's acting or writing - what's important isn't fame or glamour, none of the things I used to dream about, it's the ability to endure. — Anton Chekhov

Anton Chekhov Quotes 1326882

Dear and most respected bookcase! I welcome your existence, which has for over one hundred years been devoted to the radiant ideals of goodness and justice. — Anton Chekhov

Anton Chekhov Quotes 1340251

I feel like a donkey, with a stick in my mouth and a carrot up my ass. — Anton Chekhov

Anton Chekhov Quotes 1369488

Can words such as Orthodox, Jew, or Catholic really express some sort of exclusive personal virtues or merits? — Anton Chekhov

Anton Chekhov Quotes 1386664

So it is in life ... In search of the truth, people make two steps forward and one step back. Sufferings, mistakes, and the tedium of life throw them back, but the thirst for truth and a stubborn will drive them on and on. And who knows? Maybe they'll row their way to the real truth ... — Anton Chekhov

Anton Chekhov Quotes 1410103

Science and art, ... they seek the truth and the meaning of life, they seek God, [and] the soul, and when they are harnessed to passing needs and activities, ... then they only complicate and encumber life. — Anton Chekhov

Anton Chekhov Quotes 1420943

Perhaps man has a hundred senses, and when he dies only the five senses that we know perish with him, and the other ninety-five remain alive. — Anton Chekhov

Anton Chekhov Quotes 1432608

I swear fearfully at the conventions of the stage. — Anton Chekhov

Anton Chekhov Quotes 1459907

Which executioner is the more humane, he who kills you in a few minutes or he who drags the life out of you in the course of many years — Anton Chekhov

Anton Chekhov Quotes 1468015

Thought and beauty, like a hurricane or waves, should not know conventional, delimited forms. — Anton Chekhov

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Once a man gets a fixed idea, there's nothing to be done. — Anton Chekhov

Anton Chekhov Quotes 1478575

If you fear loneliness, then don't get married. — Anton Chekhov

Anton Chekhov Quotes 1480981

Existence is tedious, anyway. — Anton Chekhov

Anton Chekhov Quotes 1498649

Look at life: the insolence and idleness of the strong, the ignorance and brutishness of the weak, horrible poverty everywhere, overcrowding, degeneration, drunkenness, hypocrisy, lying
yet in all the houses and on the streets there is peace and quiet; of the fifty thousand people who live in our town there is not one who would cry out, who would vent his indignation aloud. We see the people who go to market, eat by day, sleep by night, who babble nonsense, marry, grow old, good-naturedly drag their feet to the cemetery, but we do not see or hear those who suffer, and what is terrible in life goes on somewhere behind the scenes. Everything is peaceful and quiet and only mute statistics protest. — Anton Chekhov

Anton Chekhov Quotes 1503101

The brother and sister talked till midnight without understanding each other. — Anton Chekhov

Anton Chekhov Quotes 1529360

Sports are positively essential. It is healthy to engage in sports, they are beautiful and liberal, liberal in the sense that nothing serves quite as well to integrate social classes, etc., than street or public games. — Anton Chekhov

Anton Chekhov Quotes 1595609

I long to embrace, to include in my own short life, all that is accessible to man. I long to speak, to read, to wield a hammer in a great factory, to keep watch at sea, to plow. I want to be walking along the Nevsky Prospect, or in the open fields, or on the ocean - wherever my imagination ranges. — Anton Chekhov

Anton Chekhov Quotes 1597037

Why, if ever again... you dare to mention a single word... about my mother... I shall send you flying downstairs!" "What's — Anton Chekhov

Anton Chekhov Quotes 1667646

I know exactly the potential of the people around here. They have the potential to lie. They have the potential to deceive. They have the potential to inveigle. They'll change nothing. Sometimes, when I can't sleep, I lie awake thinking, my God! We have so much. We have these huge forests. We have boundless open fields. We can see the deepest, furthest horizons. Look around you. Look. We should be giants. We really, really aren't. — Anton Chekhov

Anton Chekhov Quotes 1789314

Lermontov died at age twenty-eight and wrote more than have you and I put together. Talent is recognizable not only by quality, but also by the quantity it yields. — Anton Chekhov

Anton Chekhov Quotes 1839572

Ivanov: Once I worked hard and thought a lot but I never got tired; now I do nothing and think of nothing, but I'm tired in body and spirit. My conscience aches day and night, I feel deeply guilty but I don't understand where I am actually at fault. And add to that my wife's illness, my lack of money, the constant bickering, gossip, unnecessary conversations, that stupid Borkin ... My home has become loathsome to me and I find living there worse than torture. — Anton Chekhov

Anton Chekhov Quotes 1878545

He is no longer a city dweller who has even once in his life caught a ruff or seen how, on clear and cool autumn days, flocks of migrating thrushes drift over a village. Until his death he will be drawn to freedom. — Anton Chekhov

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Everyone has the same God; only people differ. — Anton Chekhov

Anton Chekhov Quotes 1911539

Exquisite nature, daydreams, and music say one thing, real life another. — Anton Chekhov

Anton Chekhov Quotes 1925802

I promise to be an excellent husband, but give me a wife who, like the moon, will not appear every day in my sky. — Anton Chekhov

Anton Chekhov Quotes 1940983

And only now, when he was gray-haired, had he fallen in love properly, thoroughly, for the first time in his life. — Anton Chekhov

Anton Chekhov Quotes 1942740

What a fine weather today! Can't choose whether to drink tea or to hang myself. — Anton Chekhov

Anton Chekhov Quotes 1959143

The Russian loves recalling life, but he does not love living. — Anton Chekhov

Anton Chekhov Quotes 1965870

And in this constancy, in this complete indifference to the life and death of each of us, there lies hid, perhaps, a pledge of our eternal salvation, of the unceasing movement of life upon earth, of unceasing progress towards perfection. — Anton Chekhov

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And is it not ridiculous to think of justice when society greets all violence as a reasonable and expedient necessity, and any act of mercy - an acquittal, for instance - provokes a great outburst of dissatisfied, vengeful feeling? — Anton Chekhov

Anton Chekhov Quotes 2085459

Our pride and self-importance are European, while our development and actions are Asiatic. — Anton Chekhov

Anton Chekhov Quotes 2085496

It is easy to be a philosopher in academia, but it is very difficult to be a philosopher in life. — Anton Chekhov

Anton Chekhov Quotes 2090016

There is something mystical in the proud man in the sense in which you use the words. You may be right from your point of view, but, if we look at it simple-mindedly, what room is there for pride? Is there any sense in it, when man is so poorly constructed from the physiological point of view, when the vast majority of us are so gross and stupid and profoundly unhappy? We must give up admiring ourselves. The only thing to do is to work. — Anton Chekhov

Anton Chekhov Quotes 2105925

My holy of holies in the human body, health, intelligence, talent, inspiration, love and absolute freedom-freedom from force and falsehood. — Anton Chekhov

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Man is what he believes. — Anton Chekhov

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In twenty years I've found only one intelligent man in the whole town, and he's mad. — Anton Chekhov

Anton Chekhov Quotes 2128114

Because only savage women and animals are sincere. Once civilization has introduced a demand for such comforts as, for instance, feminine virtue, sincerity is out of place ... — Anton Chekhov

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It is a poor thing for the writer to take on that which he doesn't understand. — Anton Chekhov

Anton Chekhov Quotes 2247167

NINA. Your play is very hard to act; there are no living characters in it.
TREPLIEFF. Living characters! Life must be represented not as it is, but as it ought to be; as it appears in dreams. — Anton Chekhov

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The critics suppose that it is easy to write a play. They aren't aware that writing a good play is difficult and writing a bad one is twice as hard. — Anton Chekhov