Dr. Anton Chekhov

Day 267 of Colourisation Project – January 29

Challenge: to publish daily a colourised photo that has some significance around the day of publication.

Today’s colourisation subject is the Russian playwright, Anton Chekhov, born this day, 29 January in 1860. Although he is better known in the English speaking world as a playwright, particularly for The Seagull (1894), Uncle Vanya (1899), Three Sisters (1900) and The Cherry Orchard (1903), he was considered a master of the modern short story and it is widely held by scholars and critics that his short stories represent the greater achievement.

Anton Chekhov Bef & Aft

Photographer Unknown ~ Anton Chekhov ~ Coloured by Loredana Crupi

A prolific writer, Chekhov is regarded as the outstanding proponent of the late 19th-century school of Russian realism; his work unveiling the profundity of human nature and the hidden significance of everyday events. The point of distinction in his writings is the narrative mode, a literary device known as ‘the stream-of-consciousness technique’, which reveals the mind’s interior monologue.

Chekhov also practiced full time as a Russian physician and was dedicated to his patients. In a letter to his friend and publisher, Alexei Suvorin, he wrote,

“Medicine is my lawful wife and literature is my mistress. When I get tired of one I spend the night with the other.”

In 1904 in Badenweiler, Germany, Anton Chekhov at the age of 44, succumbed to pulmonary tuberculosis, a disease which had affected him since his youth. According to his wife, Olga, his last words were,

“I haven’t had champagne for a long time.”

At the time, it was customary for doctors to offer their patients a glass of champagne; an etiquette practiced in German medicine when it was deemed that there was no hope for a patient’s recovery. How thoughtful!

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“Remove everything that has no relevance to the story. If you say in the first chapter that there is a rifle hanging on the wall, in the second or third chapter it absolutely must go off. If it’s not going to be fired, it shouldn’t be hanging there.”     —Anton Chekhov

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