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anton tchekhov nice

After spending Easter in the Russian church three years earlier, in 1891, Tchekhov returned to Nice.

It is at the Russian Pension located at the Musicians district, an institution which has since become the Oasis Hotel, where Mrs. Krougopoleva, the owner, will welcome him.

Tchekhov arrives with idle intention and above all to read and enjoy the climate. He is a doctor, although he is said to have some talent as a writer.

As Tchekhov says, it is “to read, not to write” that he decides to spend the winter in Nice, with the beet borscht prepared in his Russian pension.

Tchekhov is fickle and it is not uncommon to see him wandering on the Promenade des Anglais on the arm of his intimate conquests within the Russian community. With its ideal climate, sunshine and flowery decor, Nice had a large Russian community. This is why they had a cemetery, magnificent palaces, a newspaper and even a library.

Let’s remember a few years later in one of her short stories that comes to life in Nice, Le Récit d’un inconnu, that Zinaida Feodorovna poisoned herself before being buried in the Russian cemetery.

Fortunately, it sometimes rains in Nice. Constrained to stay inside, Tchekhov takes out his pen to write. A hobby like any other, according to him. He writes laudatory remarks about Zola and her “I accuse”.

While contemplating the trees in the garden from his window, he finds the inspiration to write The Petchenegue.

It is moreover from this same window at the Pension rue Gounod that he will find again a few years later, in 1900, the inspiration and write  his play Les Trois Sœurs, a true masterpiece of world literature and will finally express his happiness: “the windows of my room are wide open, those of my soul as well.

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Posted by Florian on 5 August 2020
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