The Seagull

by Anton Chekhov (1896)

Act 4

Treplieff - Male, Under 25 yrs

Scene partner - himself

Monologue - Dramatic, 1:00 to 2:00 min


I have talked a great deal about new forms of art, but I feel myself gradually slipping into the beaten track. "The placard cried it from the wall — a pale face in a frame of dusky hair" — cried — frame — that is stupid. I shall begin again from the place where my hero is wakened by the noise of the rain, but what follows must go. This description of a moonlight night is long and stilted. Trigorin has worked out a process of his own, and descriptions are easy for him. He writes that the neck of a broken bottle lying on the bank glittered in the moonlight, and that the shadows lay black under the mill-wheel. There you have a moonlight night before your eyes, but I speak of the shimmering light, the twinkling stars, the distant sounds of a piano melting into the still and scented air, and the result is abominable. The conviction is gradually forcing itself upon me that good literature is not a question of forms new or old, but of ideas that must pour freely from the author's heart, without his bothering his head about any forms whatsoever.

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