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«Come on the 17th. On this day, God make it, I am the birthday boy»

«Come on the 17th. On this day, God make it, I am the birthday boy»

Date added:

29 January 2023, Su


Living in Moscow, Chekhov often invited guests to his birthday parties. These merry and noisy evenings were attended by the painter Isaac Levitan, the poet Liodor Palmin, the writer Lazarev-Gruzinsky, the "Yashenki" - as the Chekhovs jokingly called the Yanov sisters, and Evdokia Efros.

In January 1891 Chekhov was in St Petersburg. He was honoured in the inn "Maly Yaroslavets", which was located on Bolshaya Morskaya Street. The invitees remembered the kulebyaka and a huge number of toasts to the health of the birthday boy. The family also did not stay aside from the wonderful event and... celebrated without the birthday boy, but with guests. Came to the fire "king of Moscow reporters" VA Gilyarovsky, which "reported" to a friend: "Was yesterday at your birthday party, Anton Pavlovich, and, true to himself in everything and always, drank all the vodka for your health and left. From St. Petersburg home Anton Pavlovich wrote to Moscow: "I have the honour to congratulate you on the birthday boy; I wish you and him health, well-being ..."

Some of the writer's birthdays were held quietly and modestly. "The third day I was the birthday boy; I expected gifts and did not receive a shisha" - wrote Chekhov AS Suvorin 19 January 1895 "Dear Masha, thank you for the letter of congratulations, yesterday I received. I have already knocked 38 years; it is a little much, although, however, I have such a feeling, as if I have lived already 89 years," - he wrote to his sister in January 1898 from Nice. In 1903 he reported to her from Yalta: "My birthday was boring, there was no one. But there were many presents: pineapple jam, which I do not eat, blotting paper on the box, which can not be put anywhere, a pen made of rock crystal, which can not write, and sweets, which I do not eat.

The writer's birthday on 17 January 1904 was unusual and solemn. Chekhov was in Moscow at the time, and his birthday coincided with the premiere of the play "The Cherry Orchard" at the Moscow Art Theatre. "Chekhov's appearance on the stage was met with thunderous and prolonged applause from the entire auditorium," reported Russkoye Slovo, which gave a detailed account of this "Chekhov Evening."

K.S. Stanislavsky also recalled the tributes to Chekhov: "Here is the artist Korovin sent me a wonderful gift! Marvellous!

- What is it? - I wondered.

- A fishing rod.

... All other gifts presented to Chekhov, did not satisfy him, and some even made him angry with their banality.

- You can't give a writer a silver quill and an old inkwell.

- Well, what should you give him?

- A clystery tube. I'm a doctor, look. Or socks. My wife doesn't look after me. She's an actress. I'm wearing torn socks. Listen, Dusya, I tell her, my toe is coming out on my right foot. Wear it on your left foot, she says. I can't do that! - joked Anton Pavlovich and again rolled with merry laughter.

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