Thursday, December 2

the depths of the reality

Hedvig and Gregers

HEDVIG. No. Even the chickens have all the others that they were baby chicks with, but she's so completely apart from any of her own. So you see, everything is so really mysterious about the wild duck. There's no one who knows her, and no one who knows where she's come from, either.

GREGERS. And actually, she's been in the depths of the sea.

HEDVIG (glances at him, suppresses a smile, and asks). Why did you say "depths of the sea?"

GREGERS. What else should I say?

HEDVIG. You could have said "bottom of the sea" -- or "the ocean's bottom?"

GREGERS. But couldn't I just as well say "depths of the sea?"

HEDVIG. Sure. But to me it sounds so strange when someone else says "depths of the sea."

GREGERS. But why? Tell me why?

HEDVIG. No, I won't. It's something so stupid.

GREGERS. It couldn't be. Now tell me why you smiled.

HEDVIG. That was because always, when all of a sudden -- in a flash -- I happen to think of that in there, it always seems to me that the whole room and everything in it is called "the depths of the sea!" But that's all so stupid.

GREGERS. Don't you dare say that.

HEDVIG. Oh yes, because it's only an attic.

GREGERS. Are you so sure of that?

HEDVIG (astonished). That it's an attic!

GREGERS. Yes. Do you know that for certain?

(HEDVIG, speechless, stares at him open-mouthed)

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-- Henrik Ibsen The Wild Duck
Translated by Rolf Fjelde

photo from Jean Cocteau Repertory