Try to be original in your play and as clever as possible;
but don't be afraid to show yourself foolish; we must have freedom
of thinking, and only he is an emancipated thinker who is not
afraid to write foolish things. Don't round things out, don't
polish--but be awkward and impudent. Brevity is the sister of
talent. Remember, by the way, that declarations of love, the
infidelity of husbands and wives; widows', orphans', and all
other tears, have long since been written up. The subject ought
to be new, but there need be no "fable." And the main
thing is--father and mother must eat. Write. Flies purify the
air, and plays--the morals.
Back to Anton
Chekhov, Letters on the Short Story, the Drama and other Literary
Topics, selected and edited by Louis S. Friedland (New York:
Minton, Balch & Co., 1924), pp. 170-80.