Tuesday, 3 June 2008

Reading of current importance...

From Gogol's "Dead Souls" (Part2)

"To confuse, to confuse-nothing more," the philosopher replied, "to introduce into the case some other, unrelated circumstances that will entangle other people in it, to make it complicated-nothing more. And then let some Petersburg official come and sort it out. Let him sort it out, just let him!" he repeated, looking into Chichikov's eyes with extraordinary pleasure, the way a teacher looks into his pupil's eyes while explaining some fascinating point in Russian grammar.

"Yes, good, if one picks circumstances capable of blowing smoke in people's eyes," said Chichikov, also looking with pleasure into the philosopher's eyes, like a pupil who has understood the fascinating point explained by his teacher.

"They'll get picked, the circumstances will get picked! Believe me: frequent exercise makes the head resourceful. Above all remember that you're going to be helped. In a complicated case there's gain for many: more officials are needed, and more pay for them . . . In short, more people must be drawn into the case. Never mind that some of them will get into it for no reason: it's easier for them to justify themselves, they have to respond to the documents, to pay themselves off. . . So there's bread in it . . . Believe me, as soon as circumstances get critical, the first thing to do is confuse. One can get it so confused, so entangled, that no one can understand anything. Why am I calm? Because I know: if my affairs get worse, I'll entangle them all in it-the governor, the vice-governor, the police chief, and the magistrate-I'll get them all entangled. I know all their circumstances: who's angry with whom, and who's pouting at whom, and who wants to lock up whom. Let them disentangle themselves later, but while they do, others will have time to make their own gains. The crayfish thrives in troubled waters. Everyone's waiting to entangle everything." Here the jurist-philosopher looked into Chichikov's eyes again with that delight with which the teacher explains to the pupil a still more fascinating point in Russian grammar.

"No, the man is indeed a wizard," Chichikov thought to himself, and he parted from the lawyer in a most excellent and most agreeable state of mind.

*source of picture; thanks to AW for the extract

1 comment:

Ani said...

Thanks, Artmika! :))