Irina Nikolaevna Arkadina Quotes in The Seagull
TREPLYOV: New forms are what we need. New forms are what we need, and if there aren’t any, then we’re better off with nothing. (Looks at his watch.) I love my mother, love her deeply; but she smokes, drinks, lives openly with that novelist, her name constantly in the papers—it gets me down. Sometimes it’s just my plain human ego talking; it’s a shame my mother is a famous actress, because I think if she were an ordinary woman, I might be happier.
TREPLYOV: Are you excited?
NINA: Yes, very. Your Mama doesn’t count. I’m not afraid of her, but then there’s Trigorin… Acting with him in the audience frights and embarrasses me… A famous writer… Is he young?
NINA: His stories are so wonderful!
TREPLYOV: (coldly) I wouldn’t know, I haven’t read them.
NINA: It isn’t easy to act in your play. There are no living characters in it.
ARKADINA: Tell me, what’s the matter with my son? How come he’s so tiresome and surly? He spends whole days on the lake, and I almost never see him.
MASHA: He’s sick at heart. (To Nina, shyly.) Please, do recite something from his play!
NINA: (Shrugs.) You want me to? It’s so uninteresting!
NINA: I thought that famous people were proud, inaccessible, that they despised the public and their own fame, their celebrity was a kind of revenge for blue blood and wealth being considered more respectable… But here they are crying, fishing, playing cards, laughing, and losing their tempers like anybody else…
ARKADINA: Now I’ve got to go and I still don’t know how come Konstantin took a shot at himself. I suppose the main reason was jealousy, so the sooner I take Trigorin away from here, the better.
SORIN: How can I put this? There were other reasons too. Take my word for it, a man who’s young, intelligent, living in the country, in the sticks, with no money, no position, no future. Nothing to keep him occupied. Gets ashamed of himself and alarmed by his own idleness.
ARKADINA: That’s jealousy. People with no talent but plenty of pretentions have nothing better to do than criticize really talented people. It’s a comfort to them, I’m sure!
TREPLYOV: (Sarcastically.) Really talented people! (Angrily.) I’m more talented than the lot of you put together, if it comes to that! (Tears the bandage off his head.) You dreary hacks hog the front-row seats in the arts and assume that the only legitimate and genuine things are what you do yourselves, so you suppress and stile the rest! […]
ARKADINA: Mr. Avant-garde!
TREPLYOV: You skinflint!
ARKADINA: You scarecrow! (TREPLYOV sits down and weeps quietly.) You nobody!
ARKADINA: You want to do something reckless, but I won’t have it, I won’t let you… (Laughs.) You’re mine… You’re mine… […] You’re all mine. You’re so talented, clever, our greatest living writer, you’re Russia’s only hope… You’ve got so much sincerity, clarity, originality, wholesome humor... With a single stroke you can pinpoint the most vital feature in a person or a landscape, your characters are so alive. Oh, no one can read you without going into ecstasy! […] Am I lying? […] Do I look like a liar? There, you see, I’m the only one who knows how to appreciate you; I’m the only one who tells you the truth, my darling, marvelous man…
DORN: Well, I have faith in Konstantin Gavrilovich. There’s something there! There’s something there! He thinks in images, his stories are colorful, striking, and I have a real fondness for them. […] Irina Nikolaevna, are you glad your son’s a writer?
ARKADINA: Imagine, I still haven’t read him. Never any time.