“Why is everyone interested in Ozzy and not in me?” “Well, you know …” “So I’m going to ask Ozzy that question right now. I will call him.” “Will you really call him?” At this moment, to my surprise, I discovered that for a long time already I had been smiling cunningly to my interlocutor, caressing his fingers enthusiastically with my own ones. And also I noticed that a couple of Germans at the next table near the pool were getting up to go away. And now, finally, Ozzy is in front of me. Oddly enough, I was not overwhelmed by any excitement – on the contrary, I became bored since I realized that my eternal striving to find objects of attraction for myself would not lead to good. It turned out he could not make head nor tail of English, that meant I didn’t need him at all. Really, how will I charm him, how will I make an impression on him if I am deprived of my main weapon – the ability to use all shades of words of the Great and Mighty language?
He has a hint of sideburns, and his hair is pulled back in a ponytail. I first saw him rimmed with masculine monkey antics, dressed in a thin white jacket, dotted with stripes of inscriptions, in jeans and sneakers. He is rather temperamental, but his face seems impenetrable precisely because of his Indian structure, and it is namely this contradiction that attracts attention to him. He walks in a wobby sort of way, like a football player, and has some more arsenal of antics so attractive for women … I am looking at the water surface of the pool, and I am alone, that is completely natural for a person. I can allow myself to laugh out loud or to say something to myself.”
This is the very beginning of the fifth part of my “The Unbearable Longing of the Flesh” cycle called “The Souvenir from the Midday Region”. But you may ask why I suddenly remembered about animators in Turkey? Perhaps I am thinking about failed summer tourism in the era of coronavirus? But no, that’s not the point. Simply to make Livejournal allow search robots to index my blog, I had to show some social activity yesterday, so I went to the top posts on Livejournal and among the posts about Navalny’s poisoning and about events in Belarus I found a post about the special love of Russian women for Turkish animators and I wrote my own comment on the topic – something like that: “Oh, there are really such sultry men in Turkey ….When I am looking in their direction I always really fear I will not be able to keep my legs closed.”
If they ask me what is associated in my mind with the date of August 19 – with this wonderful time, when, finally, it began to get dark earlier, but at the same time it is still warm enough outside, and in the evenings you can sit on a bench and listen to music, watching lantern-lit foliage – what do you think would be my responce? You probably think that I will remember the August 1991 coup d’etat? By the way, here’s what I write about this event in my story “Serious Relations” – the second part of the series “The Unbearable Longing of the Flesh”: “It was from the loudspeaker on the street in Crimean Alupka that we learned about the August 1991 coup d’etat in Moscow. And after that I appreciated the pun “Don’t count your coups before autumn” by analogy to “Don’t count your chickens before they’re hatched”. But no, I will say in response that the most important thing is that a year ago, on August 19, I discovered communication on the Interpals website. As a result, I got a more voluminous look at our entire blue globe, as well as many emotions – both stimulating and destructive for me, but in any case it is much better than being in a state of deepest indifference.
These very last days before August 14, I was coming up with and editing my booktrailer dedicated to the release of the book. For the soundtrack, I used a free melody from the YouTube stock – this is a composition called Journeyman by musician Aakash Gandhi, which I really liked. To edit the clip, I used the Clipchamp program, which allows editing online, but when I am trying to save the file in good quality, it offers to buy a paid Upgrade.
The American friend of mine, a regular reader of The Atlantic, sent me a link to an interesting article on the so-called Reading Challenge on Goodreads. (In fact, I must say that regardless of participation in this very challenge, the Goodreads site, in addition to the possibility of writing book reviews and other interesting services, automatically calculates the number of books read per year for each law-abiding user).
I remembered at once that Donna Tartt, in her book “Little Friend” about the 70s in the American province, describes how an ambitious teenager heroine, for lack of a better field of application, joined a school competition to read as many books as possible over the summer.
Now imagine that adult “uncles” and “aunts” report to themselves at the end of each year – well, or to a dedicated reader site: I’ve read this many books this year and I pledge to read this much next year. Does this remind you of anything? As for me, it reminds me very much of the so-called “socialist self-obligations”, the system of which was widely used in Russia during the Soviet era. It seems to me that it is precisely our long-suffering Russian people that over the decades have developed something like rejection in relation to an obligation imposed by someone. Although I can admit that sometimes I see such public plans in the feeds in the field of sports, and in the area of restrictions on the consumption of harmful products, and so on – right up to promises to shave the head if some incredible event occurs, such as a successof the Russian national football team at the championship of high level.
In general, in this desire to set some strict goals for oneself, such as reading a certain number of books, I see something Protestant – well, it always seems to me that regardless of the specific religious affiliation of certain social groups, the logic and mentality of Protestantism significantly influenced the rhetoric of American society in the whole.
Undoubtedly, one can only rejoice at such a positive focus on cultural leisure in its highest manifestation and at the popularization of reading traditions, which science fiction writers have been predicting an imminent death for many decades ago. And, probably, that is true since once, while buying stationery in a bookstore in a shopping center, while in line at the cashier, I heard a young man who accidentally wandered in there, feverishly thinking where he had got to, and looking dumbfounded at the visitors, he noticed to his friend that, as it turned out, paper books are still bought by someone.
And now, in conclusion, a few words about your humble servant: I never set a goal for myself to read many books ibecause, firstly, I consider reading as a spontaneous pleasure, the need for which I suddenly feel somewhere inside myself – this is really a pastime that stimulates my brain activity, it is immersion in some pleasant virtual world inhabited by other people’s fantasies, ideas and … vision about how exactly books should be written and what exactly can be called a book.
Recently, once again I became convinced that the eternal desire of readers to identify the author of books with the fictional characters by him often serves as a reason for jokes … Or, more precisely, it is about the fact that readers regard a fascinating writer biography as a part of the very book product that they are to acquire.
Here’s a conversation I stumbled upon recently in Two-Thirds of a Ghost by Helen McCloy between writer Amos Cottle and his girl friend and in conbination – the wife of his publisher:
“You never told me about your past”.
“But it’s written on the cover of my novel book,” Amos said, and tossed the book to her.
Phillipa laughed. “I know how Tony writes things like that.
“But I gave him the facts,” Amos retorted sharply.
Philippa sat down on the bed and began to read – for the umpteenth time! – a biography of Amos on the cover of The Passionate Pilgrim.
Amos Cottle was born in China in 1918 to a Methodist missionary family. After finishing school at the mission, he entered Peking University. Life later became a rich source of plots for Cottle. Cottle changed many professions, was a sailor, bartender, reporter in Hollywood, cowboy, chemist, construction worker. During World War II, he served in the Pacific. Memories of this period of his life formed the basis of the novel Never Call to Retreat. Thinking, Philippa put down the book. Smooth, banal phrases told her little about the real Amos. He never spoke of his childhood in China or his wanderings.
Undoubtedly, we all know that a person with a rich life experience can tell the so-called “hunting stories”. I involuntarily recall an episode from the movie “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty”, when the administrator of the dating site invites the hero to write something unusual about himself, so that women would become interested in his profile and the number of winkings would increase.
And in “Fifth Business” by Robertson Davies it is no longer about a writer, but a magician, but nevertheless the idea of inventing a life story to increase interest from the audience still remains the same. So, for a magician who has become famous, his producer invents the writing of a special biography … And ironically, this is entrusted to the very person who knows the magician from childhood and spent the first years of his life with him in a small, unremarkable town in Canada.
“Every magician publishes his autobiography for sale at the theater and elsewhere,” Lisle continued. “For the most part, these little books are absolutely terrible, and they are all written by someone else’s hand – by ghostwriters, if I do not confuse the expression”. “Well, then think about what you are asking me. This is not just a biography, the book must be completely spinned out of nothing . I hope you don’t think the audience will swallow, without choking, the sophisticated gentleman born in the bear’s corner of Canada into the family of a Baptist priest … “
We agreed in general terms that he is the son of snowy expanses, fed by gnome-like Lapps after the death of his parents, polar explorers, possibly Russians, perhaps aristocrats.
People who in their lives did not devote even an hour to hard work read excitedly how young Magnus practiced his card and coin tricks for fourteen hours in a row, bringing himself to such exhaustion that he could not even eat later, but only drank a huge glass of cream, flavored with brandy. When Isengrim perfected his natural hypnotic gift, his every look, even the most casual one, was so charged with energy that beautiful women fell in bundles at his feet, like unfortunate butterflies, irresistibly drawn by an incinerating flame- and how excited the people, who knew love only in the most dull, uncomplicated manifestations of it, were to read about it.
I wrote about a secret laboratory in an old Tyrolean castle, where he designed equipment for his rooms, casually hinting that there were cases when a not quite well-oiled installation malfunctioned, seriously injuring one of the charming assistants; of course, Isengrim went to any expenses to fully restore her health. I painted him like a monster, but a charming monster, not very monstrous.”
The name of Cortazar entered my life a long time ago. This is what I write in my history “Serious Relationship” from the Cycle “The Unbearable Longing of the Flesh”:
“These names of Latin American writers were a kind of cultural code for us, a sort of secret Masonic greeting, by which we recognized a member of the inner circle. It’s no accident the urban myth existed that Phystech students used to seduce the girls as follows: “Didn’t you read Cortazar? Go to bed! Didn’t you read Borges? To bed!”
Long time ago when I first learned about the existence of Cortazar, this luminary of 20th century prose seemed to me such a classic figure from the past that it never occurred to me that somewhere in pre-youtube reality his color videos were being carefully stored.
But then Cortazar fan from western hemisphere sent me a link to a video of Julio’s color interview from 1980. In principle, a lot of what he says in this interview, I read many years ago in printed Russian interviews in the prefaces to collections of his stories. But it so happened that the video footage of Cortazar, walking in bell-bottomed trousers near the canal, and then riding a bus along the Seine embankment with a panoramic view of the opposite bank in the window made me feel nostalgia for Paris and remember one completely Parisian story of Cortazar – “Another sky” – ” El otro cielo “. In this story, Julio does what I love most about him: he shuffles the points on the map and different eras. The hero of the story goes through the Pasaje Güemes gallery in Buenos Aires to the galleries of Paris,
“into a small world that has chosen the near sky, where the glasses are dirty and the plaster statues are holding out a garland for you”.
To be honest, I was racking my brain a little trying to decipher this story. The first and most banal thing that comes to mind is the so-called notorious escape from the everyday reality of Buenos Aires since the end of the Second World War.
But then over time more and more insistently during the descriptions of the main hero’s wandering through the Parisian galleries, the author draws our attention to a certain “American” who seemed to be deeply in some of his dreams and did not want to interrupt the hero and his company,
“And while she was talking, I looked at him again and saw him paying for absinthe, throwing a coin on a lead saucer, and looking at us (as if we had disappeared for an endless moment) with a careful, empty look, as if he has stuck in dreams and did not want wake up!”
Then the “American” dies in that Parisian reality, which seems to be parallel to Buenos Aires’ reality. “I found out how he fell on one of the streets of Montmartre; I found out that he was alone, and that a candle was burning among the books and papers, and his friend took the cat, and he lies in a common grave, and no one remembers him.”
And right after the death of the “American” our hero stopped falling into another dimension,
“I broke away, like a flower from a garland, from the two deaths, so symmetrical in my opinion – the death of an American and the death of Laurent, – one died in the hotel, the other disappeared in the Marseille, – and the two deaths merged into one and were erased forever from the memory of this local sky.”
Still, I have a serious suspicion that the second – Argentine – reality is also not very … real, and the hero has long died, and only his ghost in the form of an “American” has been walking through the galleries for some time. Indeed, here is the phrase, confirming this version, at the very beginning of the story:
“Even now it is not easy for me to enter the Guemes gallery and not to be moved a little mockingly, remembering my youth when I almost died.”
And it turns out that all these Parisian characters are just flowers on a dead garland, which a plaster statue gives the ghost.
“We were, as it were, woven into a garland (later I realized that there are also funeral garlands)” “But gradually, slowly, from there, where there is neither him, nor Josiana, nor the holiday, something was approaching me, and I more and more felt that I was alone, that everything was not so, that my world of galleries was under threat – not, even worse – all my happiness here is just a deception, a prologue to something, a trap among flowers, as if a plaster statue gave me a dead garland “
Really, we need not to forget that Cortazar is very fond of “juggling” characters. For example, he has the story “Clone”, where he came up with 6 characters and the relationship between them, simply based on the parties of different instruments in a particular piece of music.
Then I found a short video with another interview with Cortazar in Paris, where it is about Julio’s special places in Paris.
He talks about the notion of “place of passage”, and then calls Paris “a mythical city”. As the first such special place, he calls “Pont Neuf next to the statue of Henry IV and the lamppost – an absolutely lonely corner with a sense of mystery and inevitability. The second place is the Paris Metro, where time flows in a completely different way.” And – attention! – at 4.45 he talks about … Parisian galleries.
“There are also absolutely magical and mysterious indoor galleries and haunted places. This is what I call mythical” – at this time, the galleries Galerie Vivienne and Passage des Panoramas are shown.
Passage des Panoramas
Oh, and if you are interested to find out what I personally think about the surroundings of Pont Neuf, then this is written in part 5 of my Saga “The Unbearable Longing of the Flesh” , which describes my own night wanderings along Paris:
“The most memorable sight in Paris for me was the night dark Seine, flowing its waters under the bridge to the music in my headphones, and the flow of cars on the freeways on both sides of the river. Unlike the endless sea, the dark expanse of which is also bewitching in its own way, an alluring way to the other side was opened to me, where something truly remarkable seemed to be happening … There, on the other side, I spotted the floating restaurant “Jardins du Pont Neuf” – “Gardens of the New Bridge” , to visit which sometime in good company has become an unattainable dream for me – so it is the highest life point of the type “Life is Good” for me so far… “
Just like the Turkish writer Orhan Pamuk writes in his collection of essays “Other Colors”, I also feel a need of a “well-written book” almost daily. “Nothing gives me so much happiness and nothing binds me so closely to life as reading a passage from some rich, deep novel about the world that I could believe in ” – Orkhan Pamuk writes.
A few days ago, the Russian friend mentioned to me the name of American writer Harold Robbins (author of “The Carpetbaggers”) as an example of fascinating storyteller – however, later it turned out that my friend had read this author 25 years ago, – and then I decided to try all these excellent epithets given to this master of the word.
So I have read the novel “A Stone for Danny Fischer” by Harold Robbins.
First of all, I want to dwell on the time and place of the novel action since each book is usually a journey through time and space, although sometimes the world of a book can be completely fictional, and the hero can move to a kind of future that did not yet exist in human history.
In general, there are 2 features regarding my perception of books from modern foreign reality. Firstly, as a person who grew up behind the Iron Curtain and therefore for a long time was deprived of quite the usual joys of capitalism such as trendy music, lawn mowing in adolescence, visiting McDonald’s and so on – which can easily be seen from a careful reading of my book “I Am Becoming a Woman” https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08CXYPPW3/ – I, out of old habit, still draw attention to these minor details in the books about western life. Secondly, it is always interesting for me to make sure that those elements of infrastructure that are described in the text of the book – cafes, concert halls, museums, and so on – really exist in real life. In general, books often become a kind of guides to those real places where the action inventedl by the author took place – so Dan Brown’s Inferno is a guide to Florence, Pamuk’s Black Book is a guide to Istanbul, a series of Jo Nesbe’s detective novels about Harry Hole – Oslo guides and so on. Earlier, Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch had become my virtual guide to several New York neighborhoods, and The Time Traveler’s Wife – to Chicago.
In this book, the protagonist Danny Fischer first lives in the newly built-up area of Brooklyn, and then moves to Stanton Street on the East Side.
As for era, the novel A Stone for Danny Fischer describes a colorful stage in the history of the United States – 1925-1944. The reader meets many interesting everyday details from the life of people of that time – for example, prohibition and clandestine shipments of scarce cigarettes during the war. An interesting detail: this book was published in the same year – 1952 – as the novel of Harry Gray that became the model for the iconoc film Once Upon a Time in America by Sergio Leone. And it was exactly this film that came to my mind while I was reading describing of the teenager life of Danny Fischer on Stanton Street in the East End, where all the inhabitants existence was subordinated to some representatives of a clandestine business like bookmakers and so on with their luxuriously furnished apartments against the background of universal destitution. When it came to taking shelter from bandits on Coney Island Beach, I remembered Woody Allen’s “Wonder Wheel” (2017). The powerful Italian mafioso is also mentioned, without which not a single issue was resolved in the City Hall of New York.
As far as Harold Robbins’ writing style goes, I can’t say I as a reader really like this literary manner, but it’s probably a pretty good option for this kind of events he describes. Momentary feelings are described interspersed with how the hero looked somewhere, what he saw, where he put his hands, and so on.
The main hero Danny Fischer sometimes appears to be damn noble and has a touching affection for his childhood home in Brooklyn. He doesn’t want to remain just a part of a faceless pover crowd. Constant need in money forces the guy to become exactly what life makes him become, although sometimes something good in him resists this.
In general, it seems that modern literature much more fits the tastes of sophisticated сontemprorary reader than literature of 50s.
At the beginning of the film, as “on his deathbed,” Norman says parting words to his son Matt Warner, which at first remained incomprehensible: “I don’t want to see you die. You can die while still alive. ” As we can see, the dying father is seriously worried about the outwardly quite prosperous life of his son. Matt in bewilderment repeats the words of his father to himself, unable to comprehend their secret meaning. After the death of Dylan’s grandfather, a new history teacher comes to school, Mike Di Angello – Mr. Di. Matt Warner is seriously concerned about the success of Mr. Di. , he loses his peace and slumber. At the end of the film, when Matt Warner overcame his excessive vanity and found harmony with himself, he understands the last words of his dying father that the worst thing is to die while still alive .. Thank goodness Matt Warner is not dead. On the contrary, it was as if he was born again, gaining new horizons. And it is thanks to Mr. Di. that Dylan ceases to be ashamed of his father and, on the contrary, begins to be proud of him. Matt’s family life is also at its best – over the past three years, his family has replenished with two new children.
… Nevertheless the question arises: what would have happened if, as a result of his investigation, Matt Warner had not discovered two things: 1) Mr. Di had leukemia and 2) Mr. Di was once a favorite student of his father – the great teacher Norman Warner? After all, it was these two things that reconciled Matt Warner with everything that happened, allowed him to rise above his feelings and learn his main lesson in life (don’t forget, the title of the film is “School of Life”). So, I repeat: I am haunted by the question: how would events develop if Mr. Di. would remain alive and well for many years to come? What would happen then? Where would biology teacher Matt Warner take his all-consuming, destructive envy? This remained incomprehensible to me. Moreover, in American films, the technique with a fatal illness of the hero is often used as a way out of the plot deadlock.
You shouldn’t expect any heights of acting from the performer of the role of Mr. Di , and here’s why. Unlike the multifaceted image of Matt Warner, always reflecting and doubting, the image of Mr. Di is embodied in the film not particularly fully and in relief. This is explained by the fact that, paradoxically, Mr. Di. is a somewhat schematic, secondary, auxiliary character. For, as Dylan quite rightly believes, it was his grandfather – the great teacher the Terrible Norman Warner – who sent Mr. Di to school in order to make his father – Matt Warner – the next great teacher. In support of this, recall the episode at the beginning of the film, when, after the funeral of his grandfather, Dylan encounters an unfamiliar man in the cemetery, who deliberately greets him meaningfully and puts flowers on his grandfather’s grave. And, of course, this man is none other than Mr. Di, who soon came to school as a teacher – that is, it turns out that grandfather died, and at this very moment Mr. Di appears in the life of the Warner family. Throughout the film, we never see Mr. Di. alone with himself, we always see him only through the eyes of others – most often through the eyes of Dylan or Matt. This confirms the idea of the phantom nature of this character. Essentially, Mr. Di. is Norman Warner’s will. He unexpectedly appears in the lives of Dylan and Matt precisely at those moments when he wants to convey something important to them.
In my search for films, I came across a not very well-known film “Spoorloos”, the description and reviews of which interested me …. However, I tried not to read the reviews especially to avoid spoilers.
In this film, we see on the screen an idyllic decade in the history of mankind before the advent of the Internet, coronavirus and everything else.
Idyllic pictures of the bearded man’s leisure time in the circle of his family give everything that is happening more embossed shade. Throughout the film, it seems to the viewer that it will be about some kind of banal, more or less inventive rape, or something like that, since this man, most likely, did not receive some sexual sensations he needed in his exemplary family. But our French bearded murderer turned out to be not a banal pervert, but a man testing himself for the ability to cause mortal harm to another person. And just to keep the intrigue of the film a secret until the last moment, the author of the film does not allow the killer to tell Rex and us too much, that is why the killer is just speculating for a long time whether he is capable of doing things. It seems to me that the killer’s reasoning is quite rational. In Russian literature – there is a novel “Crime and Punishment”, and the main character in his reasoning asks himself the question: am I an ordinary creature or have a special right? In general, it is for extraordinary people that he recognizes their right to crime.
So here they are – Rex and the killer.
Rex feels hatred, but he also has a feeling that finally what he has been waiting for so long is happening, and therefore Rex even feels some elation.
From Rex’s point of view, the intervention of higher powers leaves no doubt, because just at the moment when he doubted whether he should drink murderer’s sleeping pills, thunder suddenly struck and a downpour began, and Rex found himself near the very tree under which Saskia buried her comic treasure. And this was, undoubtedly, a sign to Rex from the higher powers that he must continue his deadly journey in search of his beloved, no matter what it cost him.
It is quite difficult for the viewer to recognize and correctly interpret the intervention of the Higher Forces, because in general the film was filmed in a rather mundane, deliberately everyday manner, and only these rattling organ sounds give everything that happens a little timeless and detached.
I can confess that within a few seconds after the light at the end of the tunnel was shown and Saskia smiling standing there, I suddenly believed that this story had a good ending and Rex really found Saskia and was rewarded was rewarded for his loyalty and courage in this brave journey in search of his beloved, accompanied by a representative of the dark forces.
After that, I involuntarily recalled that scene in the tunnel at the beginning of the film, when Saskia is scared, she tries to find a flashlight shouting to him: “Rex, don’t go! I’m afraid!” And Rex calmly leaves, despite her screams. It seemed to me that everything that happened was a punishment for Rex for leaving his woman in a frightening dark tunnel.
And at the very end my perception became very cynical and aloof – I thought: yes, these lovers met in another world. I remembered the phrase “Until death do us part” and that Spanish anecdote when, after death, a wife finds a husband in heaven, but the husband declares to his wife that he promised to be with her only untill death but not after death.
I especially appreciated this special birds cooing, which is typical for the southern European countries 🙂
A few days ago, in the very end of one of my favorite films “Deja Vu”, I saw Claire, unable to tear her seemingly hypnotized gaze from Doug’s face, nodding in response to his question if they had met earlier – indeed, these things sometimes happen when the time space is warped. And at this very moment I asked myself: where else – in what kind of invented world – did the woman know so much about the man she met while he was convinced that he was meeting her for the first time in his life?
Now I think that, of course, it would be much more logical for me to remember “The Time Traveler’s Wife” and the very moment when Henry meets Claire (Claire again!) for the first time in his life at the Newberry library, but she has known him for a long time since her childhood and knows that sooner or later the day will come when they will meet … But at that moment I remembered about the “Letter from an Unknown Woman” by Stefan Zweig (1922).
What it is like to re-read a book you read in your youth, and to recognize suddenly those passages in the text that once made a special impression on you? … For example, I remember I felt lost in thoughts when reading these lines in my youth: “I understood that you the one, who loves only everything that is carefree and easy, who seeks only play in love …“ “You love only everything light, weightless, fleeting, you are afraid to interfere in someone’s fate …“
“To you, who never knew me,” – this is how the letter from an unfamiliar woman to the subject of all her thoughts begins. And a little further we read: “Fate doomed me to be unrecognized by you all my life, until my death … Even a fleeting memory of me never bothered you. Nothing reminded you of me, not even the most subtle thread of memory has not been stretched from your life to mine. “
What it is like to look at a heartfelt, screaming message about devoted love a hundred years after it was written, of which the last few decades have been decades of a kind of struggle between traditional values and monogamy with something completely opposite?
I will quote here from Davis Robertson’s recently re-read “The World of Wonders” (1975): “If you listen to what people are talking about, or see what they read and what they go to theaters and cinema to, you might think that a real man is certainly amorous and the more women he has, the more masculine he is. The ideal man for them is Don Juan. An unattainable ideal for most men, because if you want to devote your life to lasciviousness, you must have leisure and money, let alone the fact that such a life requires inexhaustible energy, unquenchable lust, and the sexual organ must be as strong as the woodpecker’s beak. An unattainable ideal, but nevertheless thousands of men try themselves in this field, and in old age they sort out their miserable victories, like beads of a rosary. But a one-woman man is a very rare occurrence. He needs spiritual resources and psychological artistry – no match for mediocrity, but he also needs luck, because a one-woman man must find a woman of outstanding qualities. “
I have experienced very conflicting emotions, rereading this text again after so many years! At first I thought about the extreme self-deprecation of the heroine, about the need, so to speak, of the timely intervention of a psychologist… But soon I got involved and started accepting the “rules of the game” in this text. I recalled a similar obsession described in Kuprin’s “Garnet Bracelet” (1910) and the words addressed to the object of worship, putting thus woman on the same level with a kind of shrine: “Hallowed be thy name!“. And finally, as a person who likes to mix the invented life and the reality, I was damn sorry that, during their nights of love, the heroes did not discuss the books writen by the object of love- “the fiction writer R”, which the heroine, she claimed, knew by heart – of course, this not too serious detail would reduce significantly the high degree of self-denial in the novel. Probably every man can only dream of such an enthusiastic secret admirer who says in a letter to her beloved man: “What was my whole life since the very awakening from childhood, if not expectation – expectation of your whim!”