Friday, September 18, 2009

Fyodor Dostoevsky - The Thief

One morning, just as I was about to leave for my place of employment, Agrafena (my cook, laundress, and housekeeper all in one person) entered my room, and, to my great astonishment, started a conversation.
She was a quiet, simple-minded woman, who during the whole six years of her stay with me had never spoken more than two or three words daily, and that in reference to my dinner -- at least, I had never heard her.
"I have come to you, sir," she suddenly began, "about the renting out of the little spare room."
"What spare room?"
"The one that is near the kitchen, of course; which should it be?"
"Why do people generally take lodgers? Because."
"But who will take it?"
"Who will take it! A lodger, of course! Who should take it?"
"But there is hardly room in there, mother mine, for a bed; it will be too cramped. How can one live in it?"
"But why live in it! He only wants a place to sleep in; he will live on the window-seat."
"What window-seat?"
"How is that? What window-seat? As if you did not know! The one in the hall. He will sit on it and sew, or do something else. But maybe he will sit on a chair; he has a chair of his own -- and a table also, and everything."
"But who is he?"
"A nice, worldly-wise man. I will cook for him and will charge him only three rubles in silver a month for room and board -----"
At last, after long endeavor, I found out that some elderly man had talked Agrafena into taking him into the kitchen as lodger. When Agrafena once got a thing into her head that thing had to be; otherwise I knew I would have no peace. On those occasions when things did go against her wishes, she immediately fell into a sort of brooding, became exceedingly melancholy, and continued in that state for two or three weeks. During this time the food was invariably spoiled, the linen was missing, the floors unscrubbed; in a word, a lot of unpleasant things happened. I had long ago become aware of the fact that this woman of very few words was incapable of forming a decision, or of coming to any conclusion based on her own thoughts; and yet when it happened that by some means there had formed in her weak brain a sort of idea or wish to undertake a thing, to refuse her permission to carry out this idea or wish meant simply to kill her morally for some time. And so, acting in the sole interest of my peace of mind, I immediately agreed to this new proposition of hers.

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Image taken from here

Book Choice: Crime And Punishment


Νερένια said...

Well done, Lakis!

Την καλημέρα μου.

Λακης Φουρουκλας - Lakis Fourouklas said...

For what? Επειδή κλέβω και προβάλλω κάποιους αγαπημένους συγγραφείς; :) Μέρα καλή