The Seagull By Anton Chekhov
TREPLEV: She loves me – she loves me not…She loves me – she loves me not… Loves me, loves me not. (laughs) There you are – she doesn’t love me. Well, of course she doesn’t. She wants to live and love and dress in light colours, and there am I, twenty-five years old, perpetually reminding her that she’s stopped being young. When I’m not there she’s thirty-two – when I am she’s forty-three; and that’s why she hates me. Then again I don’t acknowledge the theatre. She loves the theatre – she thinks she’s serving humanity and the sacred cause of art, whereas in my view the modern theatre is an anthology of stereotypes and received ideas. When the curtain goes up, and there, in a room with three walls lit by artificial lighting because it’s always evening, these great artists, these high priests in the temple of art, demonstrate how people eat and drink, how they love and walk about and wear their suits; when out of these banal scenes and trite words they attempt to extract a moral – some small and simple moral with a hundred household uses; when under a thousand different disguises they keep serving me up the same old thing, the same old thing, the same old thing – then I run and don’t stop running, just as Maupassant ran from the sight of the Eiffel Tower, that weighed on his brain with its sheer vulgarity. What we need are new artistic forms. And if we don’t get new forms it would be better if we had nothing at all.