Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk — Sapporo: in the footsteps of Chekhov

With the Russian writer Chekhov involves a lot of mysteries. According to the representative of the Hokkaido Museum of literature and expert on Russian literature, Mitsuishi Numano, who went with me to Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk at the end of may, Chekhov wrote many letters, but he was a very secretive person, so it is very difficult to understand his true state of mind.

In 1890 Chekhov visited the far East, despite the fact that he was ill with tuberculosis. There he wrote the book “Sakhalin Island”. Before this journey, he sent letters to his closest, which indicated different reasons for writing this book, so there is no accurate data about his motivation.

“Theory of an iceberg”

Last year Mr. Numano published the book “Chekhov: seven frustrations and three wishes”. In this book he called the mystery of the Russian writer’s “Sakhalin” problem. The Czechs wanted to take part in public life, because they felt a social responsibility, but as a writer, successful at a young age, he could not shake the feeling of creative exhaustion and desire to leave from problems related to women. This mystery may be one of the themes of the exhibition dedicated to the 50th anniversary of the Hokkaido Museum of literature and is scheduled for autumn this year.

Sakhalin scientists also discuss the mystery of Chekhov.

“In the novels of Chekhov, the characters are not explained directly. Used common phrases, so it is difficult to understand the author’s intention, — says head of Department “Museum of the book Chekhov’s” Stepanenko Anastasia. — Famous Russian theater Director Nemirovich-Danchenko thought that the theory of the iceberg of American writer Ernest Hemingway approaches the works of Chekhov.”

The point is that he wrote only the visible part of the iceberg, and the rest was supposed to represent the reader, using your imagination.

“A new theory about the motives”

The Director Istoriko-a literary Museum “A. P. Chekhov and Sakhalin” Timur Mirimanova have a private theory about the motives of Chekhov’s journey. Long-time working Director of the Museum in Aleksandrovsk-Sakhalinskiy, where first came the Czechs, Miromanov thoroughly studied letter writer. “Before you go to Sakhalin, Chekhov saw a book in a printing house of his friend, — tells g-n Miromanov. The book “Journey from St. Petersburg to Moscow”, written by Russian philosopher Alexander Radishchev. The book has an interesting story: because it harshly criticized the existing system, the authorities have forbidden to publish it, and exiled the author to Siberia. The book was going to reprint. Perhaps Chekhov changed the letters in a stacked layout and made up the phrase “Chekhov’s journey to Sakhalin”.

“I have not heard about the existence of such a theory. Perhaps that’s what inspired Chekhov. However, it is impossible to explain his motives. Probably there were several reasons,” notes Mr. Numano.

By the way, Haruki Murakami (Haruki Murakami) is also interested to the “sat problem”.