“A few facts, the bare facts, is all I can do.” The spareness and asceticism of the latter sentence might make it seem like an epitaph for a character from Samuel Beckett's works – or Beckett himself. But this was Anton Chekhov's response to a request for biographical information about himself. He went on to protest that he suffered from a disease called “autobiographobia”, that it was agony to read particulars about himself, or set them down on paper. False modesty? Perhaps. But Chekhov was a writer who, for a large part of his creative life, was forced to be aware of his own contingency – living, as process, as time passing, was always too close to dying. To such a person “biography” might be a laughable irrelevance o…
Reid, John. "Anton Chekhov". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 09 March 2003; last revised 30 November -1.
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/speople.php?rec=true&UID=843, accessed 19 April 2015.]