“So many French women were hired to me, that all their features got mixed up and merged into one common portrait spot. According to my understanding, all these French girls and Swiss from songs, writing, reading books and conjugations themselves fell into childhood. In the center of the worldview, dislocated by anthologies, stood the figure of the great emperor Napoleon and the war of the twelfth year, then Joan of Arc followed (one Swiss, however, Calvinist came across), and however much I tried, being inquisitive, to find out from them about France, nothing It was possible, except that it is beautiful. The French women valued art a lot and quickly talked, the Swiss had knowledge of songs, of which the crown was “a song about Malbrook”. These poor girls were imbued with the cult of great people: Hugo, Lamartine, Napoleon and Moliere. "
“Once a totally alien person came to us, a girl of about forty, in a red hat, with a sharp chin and evil black eyes. Referring to the origin of the place Shavli, she demanded to be married in St. Petersburg. While she was able to get rid of her, she lived in the house for a week. Occasionally wandering authors appeared: bearded and long-sex people, talmudic philosophers, sellers peddle of their own print sayings and aphorisms. They left inscribed copies and complained about the evil prosecutions is clear. Once or twice in my life I was taken to the synagogue, as if to a concert, with long collections, almost buying tickets from the baryshnik; and from what I have seen and heard, I was returning in a grave chad. "
“What a mixture, what a truthful historical discord lived in our school, where geography, puffing up the capsten with a pipe, turned into jokes about American trusts, how much history was beating and fluttering near the Tenishev greenhouse on chicken legs and cave football!
No, Russian boys are not English, you will not take them either with sports or boiled water of amateur performance. In the most hothouse, in the most boiled-up Russian school, life will break in with unexpected interests and violent mental amusements, as it once broke into Pushkin Lyceum. The “Libra” book is under the desk, and beside slag and steel shavings from the Obukhovsky Plant, not a word, not a sound, as if by persuasion, about Belinsky, Dobrolyubov, Pisarev, but Balmont is in honor, and his good imitators, and the Social Democrat gnaws the populist's throat throats and drinks his Social Revolutionary blood, in vain he calls for help from his saints - Chernov, Mikhailovsky, and even ... Lavrov's "Historical Letters". Everything that was a world view was eagerly absorbed. I repeat: my comrades couldn’t tolerate Belinsky for the vagueness of worldview, and Kautsky was respected and along with him Avvakum, whose life in Pavlenkov's edition was part of our Russian literature. ”
“I want to talk not about myself, but to follow the eyelid, the noise and the germination of time. My memory is hostile to all personal. If it depended on me, I would only frown, remembering the past. I have never been able to understand the Fat and Aksakovs, the Crimson Grandchildren, in love with family archives with epic home memories. I repeat - my memory is not loving, but hostile, and it works not on reproduction, but on removing the past. Raznochintsu does not need a memory, it is enough to tell him about the books that he read - and the biography is ready. Where the happy generations say the epic hexameters and chronicles, there I have a sign of a gaping, and between me and the century of failure, a ditch filled with noisy time, a place reserved for the family and the home archive. What did the family want to say? I dont know. She was tongue-tied from birth, - and yet she had something to say. Above me and over many contemporaries the birth language inarticulation. We learned not to talk, but to babble - and just listening to the growing noise of the century and the whitening of the foam of his crest, we acquired a language.
A revolution is both life and death itself, and it cannot stand it when it talks about life and death. Her throat is dry from thirst, but she will not take a single drop of moisture from the hands of others. Nature is a revolution — eternal thirst, inflammation (perhaps it is jealous of centuries that homely humbly quenched their thirst, going to a sheep-watering place. For the revolution this fear is characteristic, this fear of getting something from the hands of others, it does not dare, she is afraid to approach sources of life) ".
“I was dim and restless. All the excitement of the century passed to me. Strange currents ranged all the way from the thirst for suicide to the aspiration of a world end. The literature of problems and ignorant world questions has just passed through a dark, smelly campaign, and the dirty hairy hands of life and death merchants made the very name of life and death unpleasant. It was a truly ignorant night! Writers in shirt shirts and black blouses traded, like landhorns, and God and the devil, and there was no home where stupid polka from Life of a Man, which became a symbol of vile, street symbolism, would not stomp with one finger. For too long, the intelligentsia was feeding on student songs. Now she was sick of world questions: the same philosophy from a beer bottle! ”
“Looking back on the entire nineteenth century of Russian culture,” crashed, done, inimitable, which no one dares and should not repeat, I want to call out a century like steady weather, and I see in it the unity of the exorbitant cold, welded together for decades in one day night, in a deep winter, where a terrible statehood, like a furnace, bursting with ice. And in this winter period of Russian history, literature as a whole and in general seems to me as something beautiful, embarrassing to me: with awe I lift the film of wax paper over the writer's winter hat. No one is innocent of this and nothing to be ashamed of. You can not be ashamed to be ashamed of its fur. The night it has omitted. Winter wore it. Literature is a beast. ”
“Twilight is coming, but Batum does not want to go to bed. A continuous holiday avalanche is moving along Marin Street until late at night; one feels that everyone in this crowd has “done the job” and is now reaping the fruits of its commercial subtlety. Brightly lit lari and gateways with fruit and southern winter joy - tangerines. Some enterprising dirty-faced boys, dancing a lezginka, rush under the feet of passersby, who in horror pay off with a small sop. The crowd is so animated that its joyful and loud murmur reaches the fourth floor and lulls your first dream.
Meanwhile, entire neighborhoods are as dead as the desert. These are special blocks of shops by the sea. Entire streets, extinct, in darkness, with tightly closed - heavy iron padlocks - shutters. Only watchmen with vigilant clappers roam, guarding sleeping billions. However, the light breaks through the iron shutters in some places and lives in many shops. The fact is that in Batum there are no apartments, there is not even a “housing crisis”. It is eliminated very simply - there is no room so irrevocably that it does not even occur to anyone to look for them. In Batum, if you are a visitor, you are not asked where you live, but they are asked where you spend the night. The fear of homeless visitors is so great that you can’t leave things at the station in any coffee shop: the owners are sure that you will come back to spend the night and fear it like the plague. Small traders huddle in their stalls and booths, the size of no more than a dog kennel. How large visiting merchants are arranged is completely mysterious. Obviously, the lira conquers the laws of space. ”