[Alternative Muses] Creative Couples: Anton Chekhov and Olga Knipper

“Let us learn to appreciate there will be times when the trees will be bare, and look forward to the time when we may pick the fruit.”-Anton Chekhov

Playwright and short story genius Anton Chekhov and actress Olga Knipper had a short, independent, mostly long-distance marriage. It began with a low-key, very private wedding in May 1901, and ended with Chekhov’s tragic death three years later. Neither career was sacrificed to the traditional dictates of matrimony.

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“Give me a wife who, like the moon, won’t appear in my sky every day.”-Anton Chekhov

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“And what does it mean–dying? Perhaps man has a hundred senses, and only the five we know are lost at death, while the other ninety-five remain alive.”-Anton Chekhov, The Cherry Orchard

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“In all the universe nothing remains permanent and unchanged but the spirit.”-Anton Chekhov, The Seagull

Anton Chekhov died on 15 July 1904, with his wife by his side. Olga Knipper outlived her husband by nearly fifty-five years.