Letter to A.P. Chekhov, April 11, 1889¹
by: Anton Chekhov

Try to be original in your play and as clever as possible; but don't be afraid to show yourself foolish; we must have freedom of thinking, and only he is an emancipated thinker who is not afraid to write foolish things. Don't round things out, don't polish--but be awkward and impudent. Brevity is the sister of talent. Remember, by the way, that declarations of love, the infidelity of husbands and wives; widows', orphans', and all other tears, have long since been written up. The subject ought to be new, but there need be no "fable." And the main thing is--father and mother must eat. Write. Flies purify the air, and plays--the morals.

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¹ Anton Chekhov, Letters on the Short Story, the Drama and other Literary Topics, selected and edited by Louis S. Friedland (New York: Minton, Balch & Co., 1924), pp. 170-80.

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