"Any idiot can face a crisis," said Anton Chekhov. "It's the day-to-day living that wears you out." A hundred years after the great Russian playwright breathed his last over talk of champagne, Chekhov speaks with almost painful relevance to modern ears.
The grandson of Russian slaves, the author of Uncle Vanya and The Cherry Orchard and Three Sisters was a physician who launched his literary career in comedy, then took his doctor's scalpel to the illusions and pettiness and self-absorption of human nature.
"Medicine is my lawful wife, and literature is my mistress," said Chekhov. When I get tired of one, I spend the night with the other. "
Hear about a new translation of our endless contemporary Anton Chekhov.
Laurence Senelick, Professor of Drama and Oratory at Tufts University and translator of "Anton Chekhov: The Complete Plays."
This program aired on December 15, 2005.