[The Third Son, Platonov, A. P.]
Tuesday, 31 May 2011
The sons silently wept occasional slow tears, twisting their faces in order to bear grief without a sound. The father was no longer crying; he had cried himself out alone, before the others, and now, with secret excitement and an out-of-place joy, he was looking at his sturdy band of sons. Two of them were sailors - captains of ships; one was an actor from Moscow; the one with the daughter was a physicist and a Party member; the youngest was studying to be an agronomist; and the eldest was a head engineer in an aeroplane factory and wore on his chest a medal for honourable labour. All six of them - seven including the father - were silent around the dead mother and mourned her without a word, hiding from one another their despair, their memories of childhood and of love's departed happiness, which had sprung up continually, making no demands, in their mother's heart and which had always found them - even across thousands of miles - and they had sensed it constantly and instinctively and this had made them stronger and they had been successful in life more boldly. Now their mother had turned into a corpse; she could no longer love anyone and was lying their like an indifferent stranger, an old woman who had nothing to do with them.