Adult Life

In the December edition of the New English Review, Theodore Dalrymple contributes a highly personal and moving account of his unhappy childhood before touching on the difficult childhoods of Charles Dickens and Anton Chekhov.

In other words, Chekhov came gradually to the realisation that he was neither the slave of or to his past, but that he was endowed (as are all humans, if they did but realise it) with the power to transcend it. This power of transcendence does not eliminate or cancel out the past: as yet, no man has the ability to do that, though the remembrance or public record of the past is only too easy to change, usually for nefarious purposes. But, by taking thought, everyone can either use the past to his advantage or at least decide not to dwell upon it.

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