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2003-01-24

A Reading of St. Peterburg (1913)
B. 12.21.74 / D. 1.18.75
The End

Just finished reading this novel by Andrey Biely
(a pseudonym)
that I picked up a few years ago at a used bookstore near
(just not)
the Strand. In pencil, a
(or the)
previous reader’s notation informs me that it once took a month
(bookended by Saturdays)
to read. It’s
(obviously)
a winter book. Sample
(by moonlight):
The sky was clearing; an island roof flashed in a stream of silver.
The Neva was seething.
The siren of a late steamer wailed desperately, and the receding eye of a lantern glowed; the Embankment stretched away; above the yellow, gray, tawny-red box-like houses, above the gray columns, the tawny-red rococo and baroque palaces, loomed the somber walls of an enormous church, with its gold dome thrust sharply into the world of the moon: St. Isaac’s.
And the Admiralty pierced the sky like an arrow.
(p.230)
January 1975, a month of penciling unobtrusive lines under vocabulary book words
(fastidious phylloxera raucous pastiche diurnal insolvent moribund recalcitrant splayed)
for a purpose undisclosed;
(strange: stertorous and stertorously in the next chapter; no dictionary. . .or what was being waited for?)
maybe the words were to take to a party on January 18th
(Collette’s birthday. . .another pseudonym!)
where a special someone, being expected, would you'd hope and pray be found; someone with a love of words to sit beside and woo, perchance to pre-safe-sexually seduce
(through the lorgnette, in between the roulades, behind the tabouret).

Consolation Site: Watch out!

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