One has just been sent out as a biblical dove, has found nothing green, and slips back
into the darkness of the ark -- Kafka

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Sasha Sokolov's "A School for Fools"

Kind of like what Kundera said re Musil's opus: no matter where you land you'll find something exceptional. Here's pretty much where I ended this morning.

Excerpt:

Yes, dreams Mikheev, the wind will put all this orchard and samovar life upside down and will stomp the dust at least for a while. The retiree suddenly recalls something he read sometime and somewhere: A breeze fashions fast silver keels out of dust. Precisely, from dust, Mikheev analyzes, and precisely keels, that is boat keels, that is boats with keels, and not the flat-bottom boats, may they sink to the bottom! If only the wind came soon! A gale in the vale, but a breeze in the trees -- again Mikheev quotes in his mind, while the path turns to the right and goes slightly up the hill. Now, as far as to the little bridge across the ravine (where the burdocks are plentiful and where, most likely, snakes live), one can leave the pedals alone and let one's legs rest: let them hang calmly, swinging on both sides of the frame and not touching the pedals, and let the machine roll by itself -- towards the wind. Sender of the Wind? -- you think about Mikheev. You don't see him anymore; as it is occasionally said, he vanished beyond the bend -- melted in the dacha July haze. Completely covered with the floating seeds of dandelions, risking at each meter of the bicycle ride losing summer postcards written as a result of nothing else to do, he and his elderly venous hands now speed towards his dreams. He is full of concerns and worries; he's been an outsider in the dacha world and he does not like it. Poor Mikheev, you think, soon, soon your pains will go away and you'll become a metallic headwind, a mountain dandelion, a ball belonging to a six-year-old girl, a pedal of a cruiser bicycle, compulsory military service, the aluminum of airports and the ash of forest fires; you'll become smoke, the smoke of the rhythmical food and textile factories, the speaking of viaducts, the seashore pebble, the light of day, and the pods of thorny acacias. Or -- you'll become a road, a part of the road, a roadside bush; you'll become a shadow on the winter road, you'll become a bamboo shoot, you'll be eternal. Lucky Mikheev. Medvedev?



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