CHEKHOV, Anton (1860-1904). Autograph letter signed to Alexander Valentinovich Amfiteatrov, Yalta, 13 April 04, in Russian, 3 pages, 4to (minute repair to fold on verso).
On his pleasure at reading reviews of the Cherry Orchard, '[I shan't hide it]', and conjuring up memories, '[there sprang to life that jubilee picture in the Alarm Clock [a humorous journal published in 1880, with a photograph of its contributors] where you and I stand near Kurepin and Kicheyev and Passek - who had a telephone receiver to his ear]'. Chekhov tells his friend how he is spending his time, '[I write little at present, but I read much]'; he has read Rus, Sbormik published by 'Zanie', Bunin's story, Chornosiom ('amazing') and Gorki's Man, which '[reminded me very much of a sermon by a beardless young priest pronouncing broad vowels in a bass voice]'.
Writing at a time when his thoughts were centred on the Russo-Japanese war, Chekhov talks of going to the Far East in the summer, if his health permits, not as a correspondent but as a doctor ['It seems to me that a doctor will see more than a correspondent can']. He mentions receiving a letter from '[a cheerful young man... a writer who went hopefully to Vladivostok but there fell into despair]'. The novelist and journalist Amfiteatrov (1862-1923) was banished to Minussinsk in 1902 as a result of his satirical sketch of the Romanoffs.
Published in Trans. & ed. S. Skoteliansky and P. Tomlinson, The Life and Letters of Anton Tchekhov, London: Cassell & Co. Ltd, , p.295.