this is good

I just finished The Idiot.  This is probably one of the best books I’ve ever read.  Now I have to tape this school library copy back together.  I was reading out of it for the first half, and switched over to a cheap paperback copy for the rest of the way.  When I was nearing the end and only clutching a few last pages of that copy in my right hand, I noticed that there was still a bunch left to go in the translation that I had been referring to.  Critical materials or something?  No, more of the novel!  For a second, I had a freak out, thinking, could there be alternate editions of this novel, and Russians read one while Americans read another?  I really let my mind run away imagining it.  Then I took a look at the last page, and realized, hey, it’s cut off in the middle of a word!  The last thirty pages of the book were missing!  So I finished the book a couple days later than I thought.  It was remarkable.  I think you should really read it…

I quit baby lessons.  I’m very happy.  I will miss Marusya and will regret not ever having a real goodbye with her, as she was a good tot, and she was really learning with me.  But I couldn’t stand working for her grandmother, the baby’s caretaker–her mom was too busy working and engaging in luxury exotic travel and weekend shopping sprees in Madrid–and as I described to some of you before, if you want the person who is working with your two year old to put in her all, then you must treat that person with kindness and respect.  I was brilliant at that job, and I enjoyed the small preview of motherhood–wiping her nose!  putting on snowpants! taking her to the potty! feeding the ducks at the pond!  but I couldn’t stand the treatment I got there, on top of being scolded for not working extra hours without pay as a “person who counts every kopeck,” on top of being strung along after break–they put of the day they would have me back over there because the tot was getting some sort of massage???  Anyway, now I quit, proving that I have and always had the hand in that relationship.

Anyway, while I’m linking to youtube I might as well give you this Chopin mazurka.  I love it a lot and I listen to it constantly, and when I was in the bus early yesterday morning going back to school after more than a week of quarantine, my being extremely tired somehow made me feel very sensitive or emotional or something, and I imagined that the mazurka was a portrait of a person, a beautiful young girl at her first dance or something, I could even see her!  I hate being that tired on a Wednesday morning before I have to teach all those classes in a row at the elementary school, but it can have these wonderful and dreamy effects as well…

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