Famous Letter of Anton Chekhov to His Older Brother – 1886

People only laugh at what’s funny or what they don’t understand. Take your choice. The latter of course is more flattering, but—alas!—to me, for one, you’re no riddle. It’s not hard to understand someone with whom you’ve shared the delights of Tatar caps, Voutsina, Latin and, finally, life in Moscow. And besides, your life is psychologically so uncomplicated that even a nonseminarian could understand it. Out of respect for you let me be frank. You’re angry, offended…but it’s not because of my gibes or of that good-natured chatterbox Dolgov. The fact of the matter is that you’re a decent person […]

What does it all mean?

“A few years ago, classmate Joshua Wolf Shenk wrote this great article for The Atlantic. Entitled What Makes Us Happy?, it got deep into the Harvard Grant Study and the question: What makes a good life? The study started in 1937 and has been tracking 268 high-achieving members of the Harvard Class of 1939-1941 since then. That would be 76 years; now in 2013, the surviving members of the cohort are around 94. It’s the longest-running longitudinal study of human well-being. And if you plan on living for another 40 years or so, it has some salient advice for how […]