On Chekhov's Works and Other Ideas

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Vladimir Nabokov, a world-famous immigrant writer from Russia, who spent the second half of his life in the United States teaching and creating his works, had a very distinctive and peculiar opinion on many of the internationally recognized literary masterpieces, and particularly he had quite a skeptical attitude towards some outstanding works of Russian literature – for example, he refused to recognize the significance of Dostoyevsky's novels, and he openly criticized the writer in his famous lectures: "My position in regard to Dostoevsky is a curious and difficult one. In all my courses I approach literature from the only point of view that literature interests me-namely the point of view of enduring art and individual genius. From this point of view Dostoevsky is not a great writer, but a rather mediocre one – with flashes of excellent humor, but, alas, with wastelands of literary platitudes in between." He disliked Gorky, and probably the only person he loathed more than the previous two was Sigmund Freud. However, Nabokov had found reasons to put Chekhov in his improvised list of the most remarkable Russian writers (with Pushkin, Gogol and Tolstoy), and declared that 'The Lady with the Little Dog' was one of the greatest short stories ever written. You might start thinking, why exactly did he pick a minimalist writer with such a simple story, which on first sight doesn't even really impress you with its language or plot? It doesn't even follow any rules of writing!
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