Monthly Archives: April 2013

What Attracted Chekhov to Levitan?

As a medical student grounded in science and the practical world, Chekhov wasn’t by nature enamored of artists. He had the example, close at hand, of his brother Nikolai who squandered his life through dissipation and indifference to his talent. … Continue reading

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When Did They First Meet?

We don’t precisely know. Chekhov, still in school in Taganrog, visited Moscow for the first time during the Easter holiday in 1877. His older brother Nikolai was already attending the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture, where Levitan was … Continue reading

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Archive Access

Accessing Russian archives appears today to be nothing like the frustrating experience many of us had in Soviet times. I’ve had an email exchange with the Russian State Archives of Literature and Art (RGALI) in which they’ve confirmed the documents … Continue reading

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Why “Antosha and Levitasha”?

They sound like affectionate nicknames, and they are. Given the formality of salutations in 19th century Russia, the fact that Chekhov and Levitan used these diminutives when writing and talking to each other reveals much about the closeness of their … Continue reading

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