Friday, August 04, 2017

The overcoat and other matters

  Vadrevu Ch. Veerabhadrudu has a post on Gogol's 'The Overcoat' linking to Telugu translation which naturally reminds me of my favourite quote:
Nabokov comments in chapter 5 of his book Nikolai Gogol "Russian progressive critics sensed in him [Akaky Akakievich in 'The Overcoat'] the image of the underdog and the whole story impressed them as a social protest. But it is something much more than that. The gaps and black holes in the texture of Gogol’s style imply flaws in the texture of life itself. Something is very wrong and all men are mild lunatics engaged in pursuits that seem to them very important while an absurdly logical force keeps them at their futile jobs–this is the real “message” of the story. In this world of utter futility, of futile humility and futile domination, the highest degree that passion, desire, creative urge can attain is a new cloak which both tailors and customers adore on their knees. I am not speaking of the moral point or the moral lesson. There can be no moral lesson in such a world because there are no pupils and no teachers: the world is and it excludes everything that might destroy it, so that any improvement, any struggle, any moral purpose or endeavor, are as utterly impossible as changing the course of a star.”

Apparently today Sravana Sukravaram is auspicious fo some reason or other. Women were off to the temple, came back and were going to meet again. When I inquired about the reason, Jhansi said chatting and playing games. It seemed only yesterday that they were competing, some would not tell others about good bargains, they surreptiously inquire about the grades of the others' children. Now children have grown up and mostly gone away on jobs, men and women still assemble in different groups in parties and there is time and money and family life somewhat arid. So time for parties and trips. May be even Antarctic and that becomes a norm for others to strive for. Meanwhile girls want to have fun.

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