12 July 1922

Hotel Chateau Belle Vue, Sierre, Switzerland

I am extremely interested to hear of your book on Tchekhov. Its just the moment for a book on Tchekhov. I have read, these last weeks, Friday Nights by Edward Garnett which contains a long essay on him. But little is said & what is said doesn't much matter. For instance, Garnett seems greatly impressed by the importance of T's scientific training as a doctor, not the indirect importance (I could understand that) but the direct. He quotes as a proof The Party & T's letter in which he says "the ladies say I am quite right in all my symptoms when I describe the confinement." But in spite of T's letter that story didn't need a doctor to write it. There's not a thing any sensitive writer could not have discovered without a medical degree. The truth of that "importance" is far more subtle.  [To William Gerhardi, 10 July1922.]