Meet Anton Chekhov

(Not to be confused with Star Trek's Pavel Chekov, who spells his name with a plain "k" instead of a "kh". Of course, since this is all transliteration from Cyrillic, of which there are multiple systems, arguing about spelling is rather dubious anyway.)

The guerilla performance group Improv Everywhere stages events in public places and carefully records the reaction of their unwitting "audience". Perhaps one of their best-known stunts is the appearance of author Anton Chekhov at a New York City Barnes and Noble.

After the reading, they set up a table in Union Square Park across the street and sold autographed copies of The Cherry Orchard from a table.

The young man in the jean jacket above insisted that Chekov only sign his autograph, rather than making it out to anyone in particular. He proudly announced, "When you die, this is going to be worth lots of money!"

Though I think their best performance from an artistic performance point of view was The Moebius.

Comments (7)
  1. asdf says:

    When I was a kid, I said the same thing during a comic book autograph signing after the artist wrote a little sentence made out to me instead of just his signature thereby making the comic worthless. Fortunately the one he messed up was a magazine with the comic on the cover instead of the couple of actual comics I had him sign.

  2. Hmmm… I can’t see why writing a message would make it worthless. I’d have thought that it’d be worth more – at least if it’s not just a generic "to Lucy, from Anton".

  3. ATZ Man says:

    And that was a good performance art bit.

  4. ATZ Man says:

    If you were someone famous, like Sigmund Freud, and you had a personal message from Chekhov on your signed first edition of /Cherry Orchard/, that would be valuable to your heirs because it would document an encounter between two famous people. It would also get bids at an auction from both Chekhov *and* Freud fans. Otherwise it’s not clear why a Chekhov fan would want something with a message on it when he could possibly get one without. [I am not a collector but I did have a good night’s sleep :) ]

  5. Moi says:

    Chekhov’s dead? I didn’t even know he’d been ill!

    colon-dash-right bracket

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