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Anton Chekhov,Torben Betts

The Seagull

The Seagull is generally considered to be the first of his four major plays. It dramatises the romantic and artistic conflicts between four characters: the famous middlebrow story writer Boris Trigorin, the ingenue Nina, the fading actress Irina Arkadina, and her son the symbolist playwright Konstantin Tréplev. When Konstantin Stanislavsky, the seminal Russian theatre practitioner of the time, directed it in 1898 for his Moscow Art Theatre, the play was a triumph. Stanislavski's production of The Seagull became “one of the greatest events in the history of Russian theatre and one of the greatest new developments in the history of world drama.”
66 printed pages
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  • Andrija Ilićshared an impression4 years ago
    👍Worth reading


  • krisalaverdovahas quoted5 years ago
    You are always, always moaning about money.
  • Miranda Summarhas quoted6 years ago
    NINA: All men and beasts, lions, eagles, and quails, hornèd stags, geese, spiders, silent fish that inhabit the waves, starfish from the sea, and creatures invisible to the eye…in one word, life…all, all, all life, completing the dreary cycle imposed upon it, has been extinguished, has died out at last. A thousand years have passed since the earth last bore a living creature on her breast, and the unhappy moon now lights her lamp in vain. No longer are the cries of storks heard in the meadows, nor the clicking of the crickets in the limegroves. All is cold, cold, cold. All is void, void, void. All is terrible, terrible, terrible.
    IRINA laughs.
    ILIA reacts to this by loudly laughing along.
    The bodies of all living creatures have disappeared into the dust, and eternal matter has transformed them into stone, water and cloud. Their spir
  • Miranda Summarhas quoted6 years ago
    ts however have intermingled together into one, and that great world-soul am I! In me is the spirit of Alexander, of Napoleon, of Caesar, of Shakespeare and also the spirit of the tiniest blood-sucking leech that liveth in the lake.
    IRINA: ‘Liveth’? Really? Did she just say ‘liveth’?
    ILIA laughs loudly.
    NINA: In me the consciousness of man has joined together with the instinct of the animal; I understand all, all, all, and each life lives afresh in me.
    As lights, these spirits flash out along the lake shore.
    IRINA: (Whispers.) How appallingly pretentious!
    KONSTANTIN: I heard that!
    NINA: I am alone, alone, alone. Once in a hundred years my lips are opened, my voice echoes mournfully across the abandoned earth, and no one hears. And you, poor lights of the marsh, you do not hear me either. You are engendered at sunset in the putrid mud, and flutter aimlessly about the lake till dawn, unconscious, unreasoning, empty of the breath of life. Satan, father of eternal matter, trembling lest the spark of life should glow in you, has ordered an unceasing movement of the atoms that compose you, and so you shift and change for ever. I, the spirit of the universe, I alone am immutable and eternal. Like a prisoner locked away in a dungeon deep and void, I know not where I am, nor what awaits me. One thing only I know: in my fierce and desperate battle with the Devil, the father of eternal matter, I am destined to be ultimately victorious. Matter and spirit will then finally be as one in glorious harmony, and the reign of freedom will begin. But this can only come to pass by slow degrees, when after countless ages the moon and the earth and Sirius, the brightest star in the night sky, when they have all died and disappeared. But until the coming of that hour, horror, horror, horror!

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