SIGHTING: Sharma on Nabokov on Chekhov

My great breakthrough came about three years ago. I was reading Chekhov to see how he controls present tense and to see if I could copy some of his solutions. Chekhov relies especially heavily on certain aspects of our senses. For example, he uses sound, smell, and feel much more than he uses visual details. Nabokov said that there is an even, gray tone to Chekhov, and this arises from his restricted reliance on the eye. Events appear to be occurring in darkness.
From Akhil Sharma's A Novel Like a Rocket in The New Yorker.

Chekhov's Mongoose

So the photo is Chekhov and a mongoose plus a friend plus another mongoose
Chekhov's mongoose does not appear in the index to the Penguin edition of Chekhov: A Life in Letters, so here are all mongoose-related excerpts collected in one place in case anyone is Googling Chekhov and/or mongoose. (Also: there is not nearly enough mongoose in this Atlantic article misleadingly titled Chekhov's Mongoose. You will get way more mongoose below.) You're welcome!

Ah, my angel, if you only knew what sweet animals I've brought back from India with me! Two mongooses, about the size of a  young cat, most cheerful and lively beasts. Their qualities are: courage, curiosity and affection for human beings. They will take on a rattlesnake and always win, they are not afraid of anyone or anything; as for their curiosity, if there are any parcels or bundles in the room they will not leave a single one untied; whenever they meet a new person the first thing they do is wriggle into his pockets to have a look and see what's there. If you leave them alone in a room they start to cry. You really will have to come down from Petersburg to see them. (256)

The mongoose has been ill and nearly died, but he's well again now and back to making mischief. (264)

I send you my best regards, all of you, even the mongoose, who doesn't deserve them. (266)

How is Signore Mongoose? Every day I dread learning of his demise. (271)

What have you decided about the dacha? Is the mongoose still alive? Etc., etc., etc. (273)

I trust you have already obtained the mongoose's harness? Was the little horror at the Natural Scientists' meeting? (278)

Golden mother-of-pearl and filigree-threaded Lika! It is three days now since the mongoose ran away and now he will never come back to us. The mongoose is no more. That's the first thing. (282)

There is nothing to eat, the flies have taken over, there is an appalling miasma emanating from the WC, the mongoose has smashed a jar of preserves, and so on, and so forth. (283)

Come back soon, we're missing you terribly. We have just caught a frog and given it to the mongoose. He ate it. (284)

Last year I brought back with me from the island of Ceylon a male mongoose (defined in Brehm as mungo). The animal is in good health and condition. As I am about to leave Moscow for some considerable time and cannot take him with me, I humbly request the Management [of the Moscow Zoo] to accept the animal from me, and to send for him today or tomorrow. The best method of transporting him would be in a small basket with a lid and a blanket. He is quite tame. I have been feeding him on meat, fish, and eggs. I have the honour to be respectfully yours,
A. Chekhov (294)