Russia marks Chekhov's 150th anniversary

14:26, January 30, 2010      

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Russia celebrated the 150th birthday of renowned 19th-century Russian novelist and playwright Anton Pavlovich Chekhov on Friday with a series of cultural events held across the country.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on Friday arrived in the southern Russian seaport of Taganrog, where the writer was born.

Medvedev laid a bouquet of white roses at Chekhov's monument and visited the museum, a small house rented by Chekhov's family.

In the city of Nizhny Novgorod, World War II veterans came to visit an exhibition dedicated to the author that they hold in high esteem.

The veterans recalled that they had Chekhov's works in their pockets during the war. The books were passed on from one soldier to another, bringing them joy and comfort in the war-ridden years.

Over a century ago, Chekhov stopped by Yekaterinburg, a city east to the Ural Mountains, en route to the Pacific island of Sakhalin. A memorial was established in the Ural city in remembrance of the writer as local residents believe that Chekhov is the Che Guevara in literature.

A fashion show dubbed "The voice of Chekhov" was unveiled on Friday in the northern city of St. Petersburg. Among the items on display are costumes and samples of stage designs from "The Cherry Orchard," "The Seagull," and "Three Sisters" -- Chekhov's plays staged in the northern capital between 1960 and 1990.

Chekhov's works genuinely reflect people's inner mind and made the world better, Russian Deputy Culture Minister Andrei Busygin told a wreath laying ceremony at the writer's tomb at Novodevichy Convent's cemetery in Moscow. The ceremony was attended by officials and culture figures from Russia and other countries.

The grandson of a liberated serf and son of a shopkeeper, Chekhov entered Moscow State University to study medicine in 1879, and began his literature career after graduation in 1884. He died on July 15, 1904 of tuberculosis.

He was widely considered one of the greatest short-story writers in world literature. He was credited with the original use of stream of consciousness, a technique later adopted by modernists. He was also noted for discarding the moral messages in traditional story structure.

Featuring a sharp and humorous style, Chekhov's masterpieces include plays such as "Uncle Vanya," "Three Sisters," "The Cherry Orchard," as well as short stories such as "The Death of a Government Clerk," "A Chameleon," "Misery," "Ward No. 6," and "The Man in a Case."

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