a selection from the first chapter:
I. The Long Days
Zhenya Luvers was born and grew up in Perm. Later on, her memories were buried in the many shaggy bearskins of the house, as her little boats and dolls: had been earlier. Her father was manager of the Luviewsky Mines and had many customers among the manufacturers of Chusovaya.
The luxuriant, brown-black bearskins were gifts. The white she-bear in the nursery was like a giant, fullblown chrysanthemum. This fur had been especially chosen for "Zhenichka's room." It had been carefully selected, purchased in a store after long bargaining, and brought to the house by a delivery boy.
In the summer the Luvers lived in a country house on the other side of the Kama. In those years Zhenya used to go to bed early, and did not see the lights of Motovilikha. But, one night, the Angora cat, frightened in her sleep, made a violent movement and woke up Zhenya. Suddenly she saw people on the balcony. The alder tree which overhung the balcony railing was iridescent like thick, dark ink. The tea in the glasses was red. The men's cuffs and the cards were yellow and the tablecloth green. It was like a nightmare, but it was a nightmare with a name that Zhenya knew: it was called "a game of cards."
But what was going on, on the other shore of the river, in the far, far distance, she could not recognize; it had no name, no definite color or clear contours. Its billowing movements had something dear and familiar about them; it was no nightmare like the one close by, which murmured in clouds of tobacco smoke and threw fresh, wind-tossed shadows on the reddish beams of the gallery. Zhenya started to cry. Her father came in and explained everything to her. Her English governess turned her face to the wall. The explanation was brief: "That is Motovilikha. You should be ashamed of yourself. Such a big girl! Now go to sleep!"
The girl understood nothing and swallowed a salty tear. She had wanted only one thing, to know the name of the inconceivable: Motovilikha. That night the name explained everything and that night the name still held a real and reassuring meaning for the child.
But in the morning she asked what Motovilikha was and what they made there at night. She learned that it was a factory, that it was owned by the government, that cast iron was made there, and that cast iron was made into. . . . But that did not interest her. She would have liked to know what "factories" were--maybe they were different countries--and who lived in them. But she did not ask this question; indeed, she deliberately refrained from asking it.
That morning she ceased to be the child she bad been in the night. For the first time in her life she suspected that there existed phenomena which either kept certain things to themselves or revealed them only to people who could scold and punish, smoke and lock doors with keys. Like this new Motovilikha, for the first time she too did not say everything she thought but kept the essential, basic and disturbing things to herself.
Some years passed. The children were from an early age so used to the absence of their father that fatherhood was linked in their minds with a certain habit of coming seldom to lunch and never to dinner. More and more often they ate and drank, played and shouted, in deserted, solemnly empty rooms, and the coldly formal lessons of their English governess could not replace the presence of a mother who filled the house with the sweet torture of her temper and willfulness as with a familiar electricity. Through the curtains streamed the quiet northern light. It never smiled. The oaken cupboard looked gray, its silverware piled up heavy and severe. The hands of their governess, bathed in lavender water, smoothed the tablecloth....
|Book:||Adolescence Of Zhenya Luvers|
|Number of Pages:||96|
Please Note -
* We sell only NEW book and do NOT sell old or used books.
* The book images and summary displayed may be of a different edition or binding of the same title.
* Book reviews are not added by BookAdda.
* Price can change due to reprinting, price change by publisher / distributor.
BookAdda (www.bookadda.com) is a premier online book store in selling books online across India at the most competitive prices. BookAdda sells fiction, business, non fiction, literature, AIEEE, medical, engineering, computer book, etc. The books are delivered across India FREE of cost.