Thursday, July 26, 2007

Story of a Life - post III

All of a sudden the chapter lengths creep up and you are immersed in a world of lavender smelling summer nights and bitterly cold winters. The movement slows down and the marking of time begins with the deaths of state heroes and the breakdown of the family.

Bullet points between pages 106 – 174

* There are a couple of announcements *that seem to bring the world to a standstill with the first being Tolstoy’s death and then later on Chekhov dies causing real despair and sadness to Russians who saw them both as almost immortal spokesmen for the nation

* With the promises of more freedoms made by the Tsar the students take to the streets and Konstantin’s brother is among them so Konstantin goes along to watch and is there when the army starts shooting at the demonstrators and the Cossacks come in with their sabres

* The family then heads to the Crimea for their holidays but Konstantin falls ill and has to stay behind with his mother and he falls for the charms of Lena a local girl who visits him with grapes

* His mother suddenly has to rush home and leaves Konstantin in the care of their maid and the great love affair with Lena is broken up by the older girl who tells him to head home without turning back

* Once home he discovers his father has left both his job and the family and they are now in a state of poverty and can only survive by selling off their possessions and so Konstantin is sent to live with his Uncle Kolya to protect him

* Finally his father remerges and gets a job near his son but the mother is on the move to Moscow and all Konstantin wants to do is go back to Kiev and be independent so he heads back to the City

More tomorrow…

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