Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Lunchtime read: The Steppe and Other Stories

Yegorushka starts the process of growing up before he even gets to school as he is confronted by injustice, jealously and has to come to terms with the fact he is different from the others around him because he is a ‘gentleman’ and not one of the peasantry.

Highlights of The Steppe between pages 75 – 115

As the travellers head along the road they start to talk about the past and the old man, who has been reasonably kind to Yegorushka, reveals that his wife and children were burnt to death but despite that the wool traders loved to dwell in the better days of the past
“The Russian loves recalling life, but he does not love living.”
Yegorushka listens along with the others as the old man Panteley tells them about how he was accompanying merchants who were about to be killed when either the Lord or bystanders intervened to save them. Then a love struck man wanders across their camp and afterwards those who are depressed turn on each other and Yegorushka springs to the defence of those being attacked by Dymov, who seems intent on causing trouble to ease his own boredom and depression. As he loses his temper it becomes clear not only does the young man not know how to relate to Dymov but he is also pretty naive about the cruelty of life.

Last chunk tomorrow…

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