She loves me, she loves me not; she loves me, she loves me not; she loves me, she loves me not. You see? My mother doesn’t love me. Of course not! She wants to live, to love, to wear bright dresses, and here I am, twenty-five years old, a constant reminder that she is no longer young. When I’m not there, she’s only thirty-two, but when I am, she’s forty-three – and for that, she hates me. Besides, she knows I don’t accept the theatre. She loves the theatre, she thinks she is serving humanity and the sacred cause of art, while in my opinion, the theatre of today is hidebound and conventional. When the curtain goes up, and, in a room with three walls and artificial light, those great geniuses, those priests of holy art, show me how people eat, drink, love, walk about, and wear their jackets; when from those banal scenes and phrases they try to fish out a moral – some little moral that is easily grasped and suitable for domestic use; when, in a thousand variations, I am served the same thing over and over and over again – then I flee, as Maupassant fled from the Eiffel Tower, which made his brain reel with vulgarity.
The Seagull, Konstantin Gavrilovich Treplyov