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30+ quotes from Selected Stories of Anton Chekhov by Anton Chekhov

Quotes from Selected Stories of Anton Chekhov

Anton Chekhov ·  496 pages

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“Only one who loves can remember so well.”
― Anton Chekhov, quote from Selected Stories of Anton Chekhov


“They say philosophers and wise men are indifferent. Wrong. Indifference is a paralysis of the soul, a premature death.”
― Anton Chekhov, quote from Selected Stories of Anton Chekhov


“Formerly, when I would feel a desire to understand someone, or myself, I would take into consideration not actions, in which everything is relative, but wishes. Tell me what you want and I'll tell you who you are.”
― Anton Chekhov, quote from Selected Stories of Anton Chekhov


“To harbor spiteful feelings against ordinary people for not being heroes is possible only for narrow-minded or embittered man.”
― Anton Chekhov, quote from Selected Stories of Anton Chekhov


“Being in love shows a person how he ought to be.”
― Anton Chekhov, quote from Selected Stories of Anton Chekhov


“The proudest, the most independent of women, if I can but succeed in communicating my passion to her, will follow me unreasoningly, unquestioningly, doing all I desire. Out of a nun I once made a nihilist who, I heard later, shot a policeman. In all my wanderings my wife never left me for an instant, and, like a weathercock, changed her faith with each of my changing passions.

- On the Way”
― Anton Chekhov, quote from Selected Stories of Anton Chekhov


“Hundreds of versts of desolate, monotonous, sun-parched steppe cannot bring on the depression induced by one man who sits and talks, and gives no sign of ever going.”
― Anton Chekhov, quote from Selected Stories of Anton Chekhov


“Podtyagin considers whether to take offence or not -- and decides to take offence.”
― Anton Chekhov, quote from Selected Stories of Anton Chekhov


“كانت على الدوام تُحب أحداً ما، ولا تستطيع أن تعيش من دون ذلك. في الماضي أحبت أباها الذي أصبح يجلس الآن مريضاً في مقعد، في غرفة مُظلمة، ويتنفس بصعوبة. وأحبت خالتها التي كانت تأتي من بريانسك أحياناً، مرة كل عامين. وقبل ذلك، عندما كانت تدرس في المدرسة المتوسطة، أحبت مدرس اللغة الفرنسية. كانت آنسة هادئة، طيّبة حنوناً، بنظرة وديعة ناعمة، وفي غاية الصحة. وعندما ينظر الرجال إلى خديّها الممتلئين المتورديّن، وإلى عنقها الأبيض الناعم ذي الشامة الداكنة، وإلى ابتسامتها الطيّبة الساذجة التي ترتسم على وجهها عندما تسمع شيئاً سارّاَ، كانوا يفكرون: "نعم، لا بأس بها.." ويبتسمون هم أيضاً، أما النساء فلا يتمالكن أنفسهن في أثناء الحديث من الإمساك بيدها والقول في غمرة السرور: يا حبّوبة!”
― Anton Chekhov, quote from Selected Stories of Anton Chekhov


“Ieronym took hold of the cable with both hands, curved himself into a question mark, and grunted. The ferry creaked and lurched. The silhouette of the peasant in the tall hat slowly began to recede from me--which meant that the ferry was moving. Soon Ieronym straightened up and began working with one hand. We were silent and looked at the bank towards which we were now moving. There the "lumination" which the peasant had been waiting for was already beginning. At the water's edge, barrels of pitch blazed like huge bonfires. Their reflection, crimson as the rising moon, crept to meet us in long, wide stripes. The burning barrels threw light on their own smoke and on the long human shadows that flitted about the fire; but further to the sides and behind them, where the velvet ringing rushed from, was the same impenetrable darkness. Suddenly slashing it open, the golden ribbon of a rocket soared skywards; it described an arc and, as if shattering against the sky, burst and came sifting down in sparks. On the bank a noise was heard resembling a distant "hoorah."

"How beautiful," I said.

"It's even impossible to say how beautiful!" sighed Ieronym. "It's that kind of night, sir! At other times you don't pay attention to rockets, but now any vain thing makes you glad. Where are you from?”
― Anton Chekhov, quote from Selected Stories of Anton Chekhov


“Except for two or three older writers, all modern literature seems to me not literature but some sort of handicraft, which exists only so as to be encouraged, though one is reluctant to use its products.”
― Anton Chekhov, quote from Selected Stories of Anton Chekhov


“At the water's edge, barrels of pitch blazed like huge bonfires. Their reflection, crimson as the rising moon, crept to meet us in long, wide stripes. The burning barrels threw light on their own smoke and on the long human shadows that flitted about the fire; but further to the sides and behind them, where the velvet ringing rushed from, was the same impenetrable darkness. Suddenly slashing it open, the golden ribbon of a rocket soared skywards; it described an arc and, as if shattering against the sky, burst and came sifting down in sparks.

- Easter Night”
― Anton Chekhov, quote from Selected Stories of Anton Chekhov


“يا لها من لحظات سعيدة! ولكن ليس هناك شيء سعيد بصورة مطلقة في هذه الحياة الدنيوية. قالشيء السعيد عادةً يحمل في طيّاته السم ، أ, يسمممه شيء ما خارجي.”
― Anton Chekhov, quote from Selected Stories of Anton Chekhov


“Ah, sloboda, sloboda! Čak i sam nagovještaj, čak slaba nada na njenu mogućnost daje krila duši, zar ne?”
― Anton Chekhov, quote from Selected Stories of Anton Chekhov


“Not to sleep during the night means to be aware every moment of your abnormality, and therefore I wait impatiently for morning and daylight, when I have the right not to sleep.”
― Anton Chekhov, quote from Selected Stories of Anton Chekhov


“I'm not saying that French books are talented, and intelligent, and noble. They don't satisfy me either. But they're less boring than the Russian ones, and not seldom one finds in them the main element of creative work––a sense of personal freedom, which Russian authors don't have. I can't remember a single new book in which the author doesn't do his best, from the very first page, to entangle himself in all possible conventions and private deals with his conscience. One is afraid to speak of the naked body, another is bound hand and foot by psychological analysis, a third must have "a warm attitude towards humanity," a fourth purposely wallows for whole pages in descriptions of nature, lest he be suspected of tendentiousness... One insists on being a bourgeois in his work, another an aristocrat, etc. Contrivance, caution, keeping one's own counsel, but no freedom nor courage to write as one wishes, and therefore no creativity.

- A Boring Story”
― Anton Chekhov, quote from Selected Stories of Anton Chekhov


“My life is dull, heavy, monotonous, because I'm an artist, a strange man, from my youth I've been chafed by jealousy, dissatisfaction with myself, lack of faith in what I'm doing, I'm always poor, I'm a vagabond, but you, you're a healthy, normal person, a landowner, a squire––they do you live so uninterestingly, why do you take so little from life? Why, for instance, haven't you fallen in love with Lida or Zhenya yet?

- The House with the Mezzanine”
― Anton Chekhov, quote from Selected Stories of Anton Chekhov


“The student thought again that if Vasilisa wept and her daughter was troubled, then obviously what he had just told them, something that had taken place nineteen centuries ago, had a relation to the present––to both women, and probably to this desolate village, to himself, to all people. . .The past, he thought, is connected with the present in an unbroken chain of events flowing one out of the other. And it seemed to him that he had just seen both ends of that chain: he touched one end, and the other moved.

- The Student”
― Anton Chekhov, quote from Selected Stories of Anton Chekhov


“Every happy man should have some one with a little hammer at his door to knock and remind him that there are unhappy people, and that, however happy he may be, life will sooner or later show its claws, and some misfortune will befall him -- illness, poverty, loss, and then no one will see or hear him, just as he now neither sees nor hears others. But there is no man with a hammer, and the happy go on living, just a little fluttered with the petty cares of every day, like an aspen-tree in the wind -- and everything is all right.”
― Anton Chekhov, quote from Selected Stories of Anton Chekhov


“They were tough and sour, but as Pushkin said, 'Dearer to us than a host of truths is an exalting illusion.' I saw a happy man, whose cherished dream had so obviously come true, who had attained his goal in life, had gotten what he wanted, who was content with his fate and with himself. For some reason there had always been something sad mixed with my thoughts about human happiness, but now, at the sight of a happy man, I was overcome by an oppressive feeling close to despair.

- Gooseberries”
― Anton Chekhov, quote from Selected Stories of Anton Chekhov


“Purity and virtue scarcely differ from vice, if they're not free of malice”
― Anton Chekhov, quote from Selected Stories of Anton Chekhov


“You're not content in your position as a factory owner and a rich heiress, you don't believe in your right to it, and now you can't sleep, which, of course, is certainly better than if you were content, slept soundly, and thought everything was fine. Your insomnia is respectable; in any event, it's a good sign. In fact, for our parents such a conversation as we're having now would have been unthinkable; they didn't talk at night, they slept soundly, but we, our generation, sleep badly, are anguished, talk a lot, and keep trying to decide if we're right or not.

- A Medical Case”
― Anton Chekhov, quote from Selected Stories of Anton Chekhov


“If I were to be asked: What now constitutes the main and fundamental feature of your existence? I would answer: Insomnia.”
― Anton Chekhov, quote from Selected Stories of Anton Chekhov


“Я напряженно всматриваюсь в лицо сырой, неуклюжей старухи, ищу в ней свою Варю, но от прошлого у ней уцелел только страх за мое здоровье, да еще манера мое жалованье называть нашим жалованьем, мою шапку - нашей шапкой.”
― Anton Chekhov, quote from Selected Stories of Anton Chekhov


“What’s the point? To harbor spiteful feelings against ordinary people for not being heroes is possible only for a narrow-minded or embittered man.”
― Anton Chekhov, quote from Selected Stories of Anton Chekhov


“In the history of Russian pessimism, the general decrepitude of the university buildings, the gloomy corridors, the grimy walls, the inadequate light, the dismal look of the stairs, cloakrooms and benches, occupy one of the foremost places in the series of causes predisposing...And here is our garden. It seems to have become neither better nor worse since I was a student. I don’t like it. It would be much smarter if, instead of consumptive lindens, yellow acacias, and sparse trimmed lilacs, there were tall pines and handsome oaks growing here. The student, whose mood is largely created by the surroundings of his place of learning, should see at every step only the lofty, the strong, the graceful...God save him from scrawny trees, broken windows, gray walls, and doors upholstered with torn oilcloth.”
― Anton Chekhov, quote from Selected Stories of Anton Chekhov


“And joy suddenly stirred in his soul, and he even stopped for a moment to catch his breath. The past, he thought, is connected with the present in an unbroken chain of events flowing one out of the other. And it seemed to him that he had just seen both ends of that chain: he touched one end, and the other moved.”
― Anton Chekhov, quote from Selected Stories of Anton Chekhov


“Если не видно прогресса в мелочах, то напрасно я стал бы искать его и в крупном.”
― Anton Chekhov, quote from Selected Stories of Anton Chekhov


“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, quote from Selected Stories of Anton Chekhov


“...that special despondent and accursed look that only our hospitals and prisons have.”
― Anton Chekhov, quote from Selected Stories of Anton Chekhov


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About the author

Anton Chekhov
Born place: in Taganrog, Yekaterinoslav Governorate, Russian Empire
Born date January 29, 1860
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