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The Diary of a Superfluous Man and Other Stories von Turgenev, Ivan (eBook)

  • Verlag: Seltzer Books
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The Diary of a Superfluous Man and Other Stories

Collection of classic Russianshort stories, including The Diary of a superfluous Man, A Tour into he forest, Yahov Pasinkov, andrei Kolosov, and A Correspondence. According to Wikipedia: 'Ivan Sergeyevich Turgenev1818 - 1883) was a Russian novelist and playwright. His novel Fathers and Sons is regarded as one of the major works of 19th-century fiction.'


    Format: ePUB
    Kopierschutz: AdobeDRM
    Seitenzahl: 419
    Sprache: Englisch
    ISBN: 9781455362455
    Verlag: Seltzer Books
    Größe: 419kBytes
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The Diary of a Superfluous Man and Other Stories



It happened in Petersburg, in the winter, on the first day of the carnival. I had been invited to dinner by one of my schoolfellows, who enjoyed in his youth the reputation of being as modest as a maiden, and turned out in the sequel a person by no means over rigid in his conduct. He is dead now, like most of my schoolfellows. There were to be present at the dinner, besides me, Konstantin Alexandrovitch Asanov, and a literary celebrity of those days. The literary celebrity kept us waiting for him, and finally sent a note that he was not coming, and in place of him there turned up a little light-haired gentleman, one of the everlasting uninvited guests with whom Petersburg abounds.

The dinner lasted a long while; our host did not spare the wine, and by degrees our heads were affected. Everything that each of us kept hidden in his heart--and who is there that has not something hidden in his heart?--came to the surface. Our host's face suddenly lost its modest and reserved expression; his eyes shone with a brazen-faced impudence, and a vulgar grin curved his lips; the light-haired gentleman laughed in a feeble way, with a senseless crow; but Asanov surprised me more than any one. The man had always been conspicuous for his sense of propriety, but now he began by suddenly rubbing his hand over his forehead, giving himself airs, boasting of his connections, and continually alluding to a certain uncle of his, a very important personage.... I positively should not have known him; he was unmistakably jeering at us ... he all but avowed his contempt for our society. Asanov's insolence began to exasperate me.

'Listen,' I said to him; 'if we are such poor creatures to your thinking, you'd better go and see your illustrious uncle. But possibly he's not at home to you.'

Asanov made me no reply, and went on passing his hand across his forehead.

'What a set of people!' he said again; 'they've never been in any decent society, never been acquainted with a single decent woman, while I have here,' he cried, hurriedly pulling a pocket-book out of his side-pocket and tapping it with his hand, 'a whole pack of letters from a girl whom you wouldn't find the equal of in the whole world.'

Our host and the light-haired gentleman paid no attention to Asanov's last words; they were holding each other by their buttons, and both relating something; but I pricked up my ears.

'Oh, you 're bragging, Mr. nephew of an illustrious personage,' I said, going up to Asanov; 'you haven't any letters at all.'

'Do you think so?' he retorted, and he looked down loftily at me; 'what's this, then?' He opened the pocket-book, and showed me about a dozen letters addressed to him.... A familiar handwriting, I fancied.... I feel the flush of shame mounting to my cheeks ... my self-love is suffering horribly.... No one likes to own to a mean action.... But there is nothing for it: when I began my story, I knew I should have to blush to my ears in the course of it. And so, I am bound to harden my heart and confess that....

Well, this was what passed: I took advantage of the intoxicated condition of Asanov, who had carelessly dropped the letters on the champagne-stained tablecloth (my own head was dizzy enough too), and hurriedly ran my eyes over one of the letters....

My heart stood still.... Alas! I was myself in love with the girl who had written to Asanov, and I could have no doubt now that she loved him. The whole letter, which was in French, expressed tenderness and devotion....

'Mon cher ami Constantin!' so it began ... and it ended with the words: 'be careful as before, and I will be yours or no one's.'

Stunned as by a thunderbolt, I sat for a few instants mo

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