Chekhov’s Ghost Strikes Again!

Anton Chekhov, courtesy of wikimedia commons

Alright… so…

Fasten your seat belts.  Grab your popcorn.

We’re about to get weird.

Earlier this year, I wrote a post detailing how in my journey to become a better writer, I bought four books, and read them over the summer.  Three of the four of them—three, referenced Anton Chekhov in some shape of form.

Now, keep in mind.  When I purchased the books, I had never read them before.  I didn’t know what they contained or that they’d have Anton Chekhov in them.

Fast forward to now, where I’m reading a copy of The Art of Character by David Corbett.  As someone who suffers from having characters that aren’t well-developed, this book so far, has been a God-send.  While I get that it’s geared toward an older audience of writers, I completely agree with most of his points.  I can’t wait to give this a second read and do all the exercises.

But… not even fifty pages in, David Corbett quotes Anton Chekhov:

“As Anton Chekhov aptly remarked, ‘Everything I learned about human nature I learned from me.'”

In the chapter where this quote comes from, David Corbett is talking about how to rely on personal experience in crafting character.  So Anton Chekhov sums up his sentiments perfectly.

But, my dear readers, that’s beyond the point.

This is the fourth time I’ve run into Chekhov.  I bought this book.  I peeked it in through Amazon’s “Look Inside” feature.  But that’s it.  I had no idea Anton Chekhov would be in it.

Why is it that I unsuspectingly pick books that reference Chekhov? What book will be next? I’m not religious, but if this book was really a God-send, then I would pen the following letter:

Dear Deity/God/Creature of the Heavens,

How much is Anton Chekhov paying you to do this to me?

Is there even a bribery system in heaven? 

And if Anton Chekhov is bribing you, wouldn’t that be a sin?

Surely, he isn’t in hell, or is he?

Am I thinking too deeply on this?

Would he like to be my patron saint?

Is that what he wants?

Is that what you want?

Because this joke, if it is a joke…

I don’t know, man.  Or woman.  You never know.

But this is getting crazy.

With much love and respect (and paranoia),



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