When I first heard the expression “FOMO” (Fear of Missing Out), I immediately thought of Chekhov. He based his entire life’s philosophy on questioning our obsession with comparing ourselves to others, imagining how richer our lives would be if only we had taken a different path and daydreaming about how someone somewhere else must have it better than we do.
This quality is summed in the refrain of “Moscow! Moscow! Moscow!” in Three Sisters, where the protagonists constantly hunger for life in a city they can barely remember and are completely unable to see that the good life they are actually missing out on is the life that is going on around them.
The Weirdos of Russian Literature On the Foibles of Genius, From Tolstoy to Akhmatova
Viv Groskop, Literary Hub