The Sea Gull

by Anton Chekhov

Version by Jean-Claude Van Itallie

Act II: Treplyev

Read by John Graves

It all began the night my play failed, didn’t it? Women don’t forgive failure. I burned the play, down to the last page. If you only knew how unhappy I am. Your being cold to me is terrible. it’s unbelievable. It’s as if I’d woken up and found the lake dry, or sunk into the earth. You say you’re too simple to understand me. But what is there to understand?! My play failed, so now you don’t like my work, you think I’m worthless and unimportant just like everyone else does… I understand that. I understand it only too well! It’s like a nail pounding into my head. To hell with it And to hell with my pride which sucks my blood like a leech. (He sees Trigorin walking toward them reading a book.) Here comes real genius. He walks like Hamlet, and with a book too. “Words, words, words…” This sun has but to appear, and you’re smiling. The coldness in your eyes melts in its warmth. I won’t stand in your way.