By Boris Pasternak, Isaac Babel, Alexander Grin, Mikhail Zoshchenko, Boris Pilnyak, Sergei Esenin, Ilya Ehrenburg, Ivan Kharabarov,
Introduction by way of Max Hayward, vii
Without Love, 3
On Literature, Revolution, and Entropy,
Form and fabric in artwork, 20
Soviet Russia, 29
Reminiscences of Babel, 33
The trip, 52
The Making of Asper, 62
Before dawn, 108
Fireman ProMiorchuk or the tale of a narrative, 132
The story of the 3 grasp Craftsmen, 137
The Tramp, 158
Untrodden course, 185
The Outsider, 188
Three, Seven, Ace, 205
People, Years, and existence, 236
This Is Moscow talking, 262
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The home had now not replaced because the days of Catherine the good and within the hundred and fifty years of its life it had grown as darkish as its mahogany furnishings and the windowpanes had grew to become bottle-green. Yakov Karpovich remembered good the times of serfdom. The previous guy remembered everything—the grasp four After the abolition of serfdom in 1861 there has been a felony reform supplying for the election of law-enforcement officials. five Serfs have been usually required to function lengthy as twenty-five years within the military prior to the Emancipation. MAHOGANY [79 of the village within which he have been a serf and the recruit ment of conscripts for Sebastopol; for the prior fifty years he had memorized the Christian names, patronymics, and sur names of each Russian minister and people’s commissar, of each ambassador to the Imperial Russian court docket and to the Soviet principal govt Committee; he remembered the entire Ministers of international Affairs of the good Powers and all of the major Ministers, Kings, Emperors, and Popes. The previous guy had misplaced count number of the years and he might say: “I have outlived Nicholas the 1st, Alexander the second one, Alex ander the 3rd, Nicholas the second one, and Vladimir Ilyich Lenin. and that i shall outlive Alexei Ivanovich Rykov! ” 6 The previous guy had a truly nasty smile which was once either ob sequious and malicious, and his whitish eyes watered while he smiled. The previous guy used to be quick-tempered, as have been his sons in addition. The eldest son, Alexander, had once—it was once lengthy prior to 1905—been despatched to the steamship workplace with an pressing letter, yet he have been past due for the steamer and his father had slapped his face with the phrases: “Get out of right here, you scoundrel! ” This used to be the final straw. The boy used to be in basic terms fourteen, yet he grew to become on his heel and left the home, re turning six years later as a pupil of the Academy of Arts. meanwhile his father had despatched him a letter command ing him to come back domestic and promising, differently, to deprive him of his parental blessing and bestow his everlasting curse upon him. The son scribbled “To hell together with your blessing! ” in this letter, slightly below his father’s signature, and despatched the epistle directly again to him. while Alexander entered the sitting room one sunny morning six years after his departure, his father received as much as meet him with a gleeful smile and together with his hand raised to strike him; yet, grinning cheerfully, the son seized his father through the wrists; he smiled back— his smile glowed fortunately with strength—and he held his father’s arms in a vise. urgent a bit of on his wrists, he 6 Rykov, as chairman of the Council of People’s Commissars, was once the nominal successor to Lenin as head of the Soviet kingdom. He used to be shot in 1938. eighty ] Boris Pilnyak pressured him down into an armchair through the desk, after which he acknowledged: “How are you, papa? Why placed your self out, papa? sit, papa! ” The outdated guy wheezed, giggled, and breathed difficult; a depraved glance of benevolence came visiting his face and he shouted to his spouse: “Mariushka, definite . . . he-he-he, a bit vodka, convey us a bit vodka, my dove, a bit chilled vodka from the cellar with a few great chilly zakuski.