Arts The Last (Russian) Man
posted by October 24 at 16:03 PMon
Not only is there a new translation of the 19th century Russian novel Oblomov, by Ivan Goncharov, but it includes an introduction by the great post-Soviet writer Tatyana Tolstaya, whose collection of short stories On The Golden Porch, which was published in 1989, occupies one of the warmest places in my heart.
For those who don’t know Oblomov, he is the Russian grandfather of the American couch potato. Tolstaya writes:
“[T]here is something deeply Russian in the character of Oblomov, something that strikes a chord in every Russian heart. This something lies in the seductive appeal of laziness and of good-natured idleness, the golden conservation of a serene, untroubled childhood when everyone loves one another and when life with its anxieties and demands is still over the horizon. It is to be found in the tact and delicacy of ‘live and let live,’ in taking the path of least resistance, in unassertiveness, and an aversion to fuss and bother of any kind.”For the best results, you must read this novel while in bed or on a couch.