If a month of letter writing is inspiring me to send off a daily card or letter, why not read some letters, too?
Seeing as Chekhov was on my list of reading ideas to begin the new year, and I have not one but two books of his letters, this seems a perfect place to start. And as it is for February and a month of letter writing, why not love letters, too. So I have pulled Dear Writer, Dear Actress: The Love Letters of Anton Chekhov and Olga Knipper from my shelves. Seeing as Chekhov is known not only for his short stories as for his plays, it is no wonder that the love of his life would be an actress.
"He was Russia's greatest playwright. She was the leading actress in the Moscow Art Theater. But they were more than artistic collaborators. From 1899 until his death in 1904, Anton Chekhov and Olga Knipper were friends, lovers and, finally, husband and wife. But her work and his health caused them long separations. Revealed through their letters, this was one of the most extraordinary love stories in the history of theater."
And always one to pair off my reading if I can, and as I have been 'collecting' Chekhov's works, I have tentatively pulled his one novel (at least I think it is his long full-length novel), The Shooting Party, off the reading pile as well.
"When a young woman dies during a shooting party at the country estate of a dissolute count, a magistrate is called to investigate. But suspicion descends upon virtually everyone, for, as we soon learn, the victim was at the center of a tangled web of relationships with her elderly husband, with the lecherous count, and with the magistrate himself. One of Anton Chekhov's earliest experiments in fiction."
Drama, love, murder, mystery, aristocrats, Russia . . . what's not to love?
And one slightly related side note that I forgot to mention last time. Did you know the Letter Writers Alliance has a book club (because you can never have enough opportunities to read along . . .)? It looks like they have been active for a while and the group is managed via Goodreads. I think I will have to join the group! Past selections look letter-writing- or just author/writing-related, and next up is Joanna Rakoff's My Salinger Year. It was on my list of books to explore, so explore I just may!
Have a wonderful weekend everyone!