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Archive for the ‘Stories’ Category

The Nun

Posted by eGZact on October 18, 2007

The novel is about a young girl, Susan, who searches for a convent to join. She joins Longchamp, where she is seduced by the Mother Superior. The plot centers around the physical seduction of Susan by the Superior, yet is complicated by Susan’s inherent innocence. She never realizes the implications of the sexual acts that she takes part in, and therefore, much to the Superior’s frustration, her mind retains its purity. For, in the eighteenth century, a sin could not be labeled as such unless the sinner realized the sinful qualities of their actions, within their own mind. In other words, it did not actually matter what was physically done, but rather what was thought. Therefore, although there is a physical sexual relationship between the two females within the novel, Susan has not sinned “as long as her mind stays pure.” The Superior can only be successful in her seduction if she gets Susan to realize her ‘lesbian knowledge’ and feel shame for it.

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The Crack

Posted by eGZact on October 17, 2007

I get there almost two hours early, but it doesn’t matter. I know I’ll be welcome. I ring the bell and already I can hear Susan’s delighted cry from the kitchen as I lower my finger – ‘It must be Simon’ – and see her form divided into a dozen concave images by the shell-pattern of the front-door glass, each miniature Susan stretching her arms out towards me. She opens the door and I’m drawn in and hugged, my rucksack slumped over on the step. She is wearing a pullover and a long cotton skirt. I feel her stomach and the prickle of the rough wool through my shirt. She smells of cumin and fennel seed; she must be cooking for this evening. Stepping back to look at me, she lets me go and smiles, looping her hair behind her ears, then reaches to pick up the rucksack. I follow her into the broad, uncluttered hall.

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About Love

Posted by eGZact on October 16, 2007

AT lunch next day there were very nice pies, crayfish, and mutton cutlets; and while we were eating, Nikanor, the cook, came up to ask what the visitors would like for dinner. He was a man of medium height, with a puffy face and little eyes; he was close-shaven, and it looked as though his moustaches had not been shaved, but had been pulled out by the roots. Alehin told us that the beautiful Pelagea was in love with this cook. As he drank and was of a violent character, she did not want to marry him, but was willing to live with him without. He was very devout, and his religious convictions would not allow him to “live in sin”; he insisted on her marrying him, and would consent to nothing else, and when he was drunk he used to abuse her and even beat her. Read the rest of this entry »

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A Transgression

Posted by eGZact on October 14, 2007

A collegiate assessor called Miguev stopped at a telegraph-post in the course of his evening walk and heaved a deep sigh. A week before, as he was returning home from his evening walk, he had been overtaken at that very spot by his former housemaid, Agnia, who said to him viciously:

“Wait a bit! I’ll cook you such a crab that’ll teach you to ruin innocent girls! I’ll leave the baby at your door, and I’ll have the law of you, and I’ll tell your wife, too. . . .”

And she demanded that he should put five thousand roubles into the bank in her name. Miguev remembered it, heaved a sigh, and once more reproached himself with heartfelt repentance for the momentary infatuation which had caused him so much worry and misery.

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MISERY

Posted by eGZact on October 13, 2007

To whom shall I tell my grief?”

 

THE twilight of evening. Big flakes of wet snow are whirling lazily about the street lamps, which have just been lighted, and lying in a thin soft layer on roofs, horses’ backs, shoulders, caps. Iona Potapov, the sledge-driver, is all white like a ghost. He sits on the box without stirring, bent as double as the living body can be bent. If a regular snowdrift fell on him it seems as though even then he would not think it necessary to shake it off. . . . His little mare is white and motionless too. Her stillness, the angularity of her lines, and the stick-like straightness of her legs make her look like a halfpenny gingerbread horse. She is probably lost in thought. Anyone who has been torn away from the plough, from the familiar gray landscapes, and cast into this slough, full of monstrous lights, of unceasing uproar and hurrying people, is bound to think. Read the rest of this entry »

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THE STEPPE

Posted by eGZact on October 13, 2007

The Story of a Journey

EARLY one morning in July a shabby covered chaise, one of those antediluvian chaises without springs in which no one travels in Russia nowadays, except merchant’s clerks, dealers and the less well-to-do among priests, drove out of N., the principal town of the province of Z., and rumbled noisily along the posting-track. It rattled and creaked at every movement; the pail, hanging on behind, chimed in gruffly, and from these sounds alone and from the wretched rags of leather hanging loose about its peeling body one could judge of its decrepit age and readiness to drop to pieces.

Two of the inhabitants of N. were sitting in the chaise; they were a merchant of N. called Ivan Ivanitch Kuzmitchov, a man with a shaven face wearing glasses and a straw hat, more like a government clerk than a merchant, and Father Christopher Sireysky, the priest of the Church of St. Nikolay at N., a little old man with long hair, in a grey canvas cassock, a wide-brimmed top-hat and a coloured embroidered girdle. The former was absorbed in thought, and kept tossing his head to shake off drowsiness; in his countenance an habitual business-like reserve was struggling with the genial expression of a man who has just said good-bye to his relatives and has had a good drink at parting. The latter gazed with moist eyes wonderingly at God’s world, and his smile was so broad that it seemed to embrace even the brim of his hat; his face was red and looked frozen. Both of them, Father Christopher as well as Kuzmitchov, were going to sell wool. At parting with their families they had just eaten heartily of pastry puffs and cream, and although it was so early in the morning had had a glass or two. . . . Both were in the best of humours.

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FEAR

Posted by eGZact on October 11, 2007

She was afraid, she knew how much he treasured his heritage; and she had done the unthinkable, one of his treasures from the past; irreplaceable, priceless in his sight, she had destroyed.Her lord though normally a stern disciplinarian; was a loving master who delighted her so often. Now she the good girl, the respectful slave; had broken the trust he put in her.Given the care of those things dearest to his heart, she had failed to be careful and destroyed that which not only pleased him, but soothed his soul. The pottery vase was an antique created by Cherokee who never walked “the trail of tears”. She knew from lessons at his knee, that this was a grievous time for his people; as terrible a symbol of his native heritage, as “the middle passage” was of his African heritage. Read the rest of this entry »

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