Favorite Quotes from Anton Chekhov’s The Seagull


Here are some of my favorite quotes from Anton Chekhov’s play The Seagull:

Dorn’s views on death:

“The fear of death is an animal fear. You’ve got to suppress it. It’s only religious people who consciously fear death-because they believe in a future life and are afraid they’ll be punished for their sins.”

Treplyov’s views on writing:

“We don’t have to depict life as it is, or as it ought to be, but as we see it in our dreams.”

“Everyone writes what he wants to and as he is able to.”

Dorn’s views on writing:

“A work of art must express a clear, definite idea. You must know what you are aiming at when you write, for if you follow the enchanted path of literature without a definite goal in mind, you’ll lose your way and your talent will ruin you.”

Trigorin’s view on writing:

“I’m obsessed day and night by one thought: I must write, I must write, I must write…For some reason, as soon as I’ve finished one novel, I feel I must start writing another, then another, then another…I write in a rush, without stopping, and can’t do anything else.”

“Yes, while I’m writing I enjoy it. I enjoy reading proofs, too, but…as soon as the thing comes out in print I can no longer bear it. I immediately see that it’s not what I intended, that it’s a mistake, that it oughtn’t to have been written at all, and I feel angry and depressed…And then the public reads it and says: ‘Yes, it’s charming, so cleverly done…Charming, but a far cry from Tolstoy.’…Or ‘A very fine piece of work, but Turgenev’s Fathers and Children is a better book.’And so it will go on till my dying day-everything will be charming and clever-nothing more. And when I die, my friends as they pass by my grave, will say: ‘Here lies Trigorin. He was a good writer, but not as good as Turgenev.'”

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