Friday, November 16, 2012

VN and me



One day, in the 1970s, in Switzerland, one young and famous poetess from the SU was received by Vladimir Nabokov, at his.
The damsel was in state of veneration, when talking with the great writer (whose all works were banned in his homeland, btw, nevertheless, she happened to read the works.)
VN asked her, “How do you find my Russian?”
“It’s the best,” she replied, with her voice vibrating.
“Really?” VN said, “And I believed it’s frozen strawberry.”
The conversation is a historical fact, taking place in the time, when I was oh so young, learning of the conversation later, much later, when reading one non-fiction, in the 1990s, the cursed 1990s (Confer: "Cursed Days," the book by Russian author Ivan Bunin) when personally I happened to survive, with no damage, but I keep on reckoning the time cursed, anyway, with one of reasons being that I didn’t live in Switzerland in the time when it became possible because I could not afford going there. However that may be, returning to the talk of literature, I’d like to say that remembering of the conversation, mentioned above, I realize I should title my first blog “Reading with Frozen Strawberry,” which is a superb allusion, but “Strawberry” sounds too notorious, and “Frozen Strawberry” sounds rightly intelligible not to everyone, to put it mildly, for me alone, strictly speaking. Besides, when beginning my first blog, I was eager for being as far from my homeland as possible, aloof in my thoughts, dreams and virtual life, and the title “Revue Blanche” sounded more unusual, meaningful, cosmopolitan and consonant to my new fandom, and subsequently more Wildean, which as such had and implied more things to my taste than Nabokov’s works, with the only novel Pale Fire worth the kind attention of my main personage, which last circumstance outweighed then, being above all now. 
I conclude: However VN looked and sounded in his lifetime, read the novel Pale Fire, anyway.


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Sunday, November 11, 2012

Vigel


Continuing the theme of the homosexual surrounding of the Russian great poet A. Pushkin and his time.




After Pyotr Chaadaev (1794-1856), Georges-Charles d’Anthès (1812-1895), and Faddey Bulgarin (1789-1859), with Chaadaev’s homosexual taste being only supposed...
...today, I am happy to introduce the next forgotten literary figure Filipp Vigel (1786-1856) Russian noble of Swedish extraction who served in the foreign ministry, and who was Russian first outstanding memoirist.

Filipp Vigel happened to be a pen-pal to some Russian famous poets. In 1823, when he was sent in the town of Kishinev as a vice-governor of Bessarabia, he wrote to Pushkin about the town which caused the plaintive tone:
Although my sins or rather my sin is great but not to such an extent that the fate could appoint this pit as my residence.”
His poetic message to Vigel, Pushkin concluded by the humorous verse hinting at the homosexual taste of his addressee:
As soon as I have free time, Ill come.
Glad being at your service--
with my poetry and prose and my all heart--
but, Vigel, have your mercy on my ass!”
In the same message, Pushkin recommended “three jolly young beaus” to Vigel “believing that the younger of them is fitter for the proper usage. NB: he’s a room-mate of brother Mikhail, and by night, they bugger each other unrestrainedly which may suggest some important conclusions, which I leave to your sophistication and discretion.”  


At present, Vigel's famous Notes are re-published. But the literary sources are scanty about his personal life and others of that ilk, that’s why this note is so short. More about Russian forgotten literary figures of my choice, read here:



Tuesday, October 16, 2012

new eBooks


check out 2 new eBooks at Lulu.com :

The Autumn Gay Tints 
The main character of my story The Autumn Gay Tints is a Londoner in his twenties of the name of Oscar Maria Graf. A Stenbock-like figure, by his origin and his dabbling in literature, he is much hotter, more active, able-bodied, pragmatic and of great vitality than Eric Stenbock (1860-1895) who is no more, by the time of the story. In the beginning, we see Oscar Maria Graf in his den, early in the morning. On the way home, his old friend drops at his and brings some news. The point is that their archenemy’s young relative comes to London, from countryside, unattended. They plan seduction of the young man. All the personages of the story are 20+ years old. Happy ending.   

Fin de siècle and Mists of Albion 
The short story “Fin de siècle and Mists of Albion” is initially a part of the novel “La Lune Blanche” (2005) by Lara Biyuts and at the same time a part of writings by the novel’s main character. Male bonding and the Victorian era. The big town and an orphan. Excesses of bachelorhood and a young thing learning the world. The new obsession of a middle-aged gay man and the mystery from the tangled and disturbing past. “Shared, secret, celebrated, exploded, subtle--as an unrequited longing or mellowing through the years--at long distance, across continents or so close, it is never quite close enough--from the inside out and from the outside in, the likely and the unlikely--hot, unfair, jealous, crazy Love is coming. Get ready--now, it comes to You!” (Lara Biyuts)   

All SmashWords-published eBooks, the reader can find at iTune : 

novella A Handful of Blossoms as a guest post at The Pen & Muse http://wibi.us/Nh7lXQ
From the book reviews: 



 “Lara Biyuts’ writing is deep and multi layered.  Expect to read this book a few times in order to glean all the mysteries  and interlocking energies held inside the writing. I don’t want to give away one of the more interesting twists of the book, but suffice it to say it holds a few surprises.” (Maggie Mack Books)

 “I found the story-telling through this narrator to be very well done and all of the characters had quite a bit of depth to them.  Biyuts did a very good job in her writing of this book.  I could actually see this book being studied as literature in a university class.” (Sam Kasbrick's Reviews)

“I would definitely recommend this book to fans of historical fiction or maybe to fans of old-school Gothic literature.” (Sam Kasbrick's Reviews)

 “Complex story, complex writing style, but if you have the patience, and the courage to start it, I think you will find this is a very original insight in an uncommon era and setting for a novel.” (Elisa Rolle Reviews)

interview at Roy Eynhallow's Creative World 
http://www.eynhallowbooks.com/2012/09/19/lara-biyuts-writers-like-me-read-dictionaries-and-wikipedia-interview-with-a-russian-speaking-author-who-writes-in-english/

Come to review the book at http://askdavid.com/reviews/book/paranormal-adventure/2473

“O gentle vision in the dawn:
My spirit over faint cool water glides,
Child of the day,
To thee;
And thou art drawn
By kindred impulse over silver tides
The dreamy way
To me.”
(Harold Monro, Collected Poems)

Thanks.
Lara B.









Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Mysterium Tremendum


Perhaps, creating the Page 
and earlier, self-publishing all the fiction about the undead, I’ve lost face in eyes of serious writers, and personally I don’t read fantasy fictionbut… a grain of mystique in a narration always seemed nice for me. The essay is a part of my novel La Arme Blanche. 
Anthony finds his old essay and shows it to our dear boy Jocelyn.

Mysterium Tremendum


Cultural memorials in the form of ancient written or verbal creative works are parables and allegories, for the most part, be it the story of King Arthur and his Round Table or scriptural parables. Homer’s story of Ulysses and his travels and Myths of Heracles’ Labours show us an allegorical path of every hero towards his ascent. In the erotic and romantic stories of Adepts of Love and the Old Testament, in the myths of Osiris and Isis, in writings of Dante and Omar Khayyam, we can find ciphered descriptions of Creation of the world. The ancients knew what they wanted to say by means of the language of symbols; and Spirit, which “breathes where it wants”, is mighty every time when it revives the symbols and rites, giving them back their lost sense and entire initial power.
To all of us, who speak different languages, the legends were given in order that we could teach as well as learn to find and go on the path that leads towards our true vocation. Not a mere flight of fancy, symbolism of the ancients acts a double part: keeping truths from the uninitiated and at the same time discovering the truths for those who understood the language of symbols. Those who cannot tell difference between lies and truth will see only a fairy-tale. And a wise man can draw the curtain open and perceive the point.
We shall draw the curtain open now, in order to research some aspects of symbolism and the origin of so-called folklore.
The cosmogonic and mysterium-related myths, which survived in the form of tales, parables and legends, often relate to creative works by a folk, but contents of the folklore evidently indicate the myths’ descending from spiritual teachings which include universal symbols. We shouldn’t regard nature of folklore as a source of spiritual traditions: like an individual mentality, the collective mentality is reduced to memory, in other words, it can conserve and save, which folklore’s function is in, but it is not able to produce anything, especially on the transcendental level. The folk saves the lore or information, without its own knowledge, functioning as a subliminal collective memory, and the folk’s natural unawareness of a true sense of the lore, which the folk passes verbally or in writing, from generation to another, and which is clad in the bright dress of symbols, is a good guarantee of saving the spiritual legacy intact, in its true value, till the times when someone is able to understand it.
It’s known that many spiritual orders, like anybody else, trying to survive in their difficult times, often used this way of saving their system of symbols. Ultimately, it could be the only way of the last bearers to save their teaching, at least partly. For example, it’s reckoned that in this way domino, cards and Tarot have survived till our time, being entrusted by the ancient Egyptians initiated to human “vices” of passions and fear of the future.  Knowing laws and capabilities of the emotional and vital powers, adepts could wittingly choose fearsome symbols for better guarantee of saving a spiritual system. Also, it must be said that in their small circle, the initiated never stood upon ceremony with mental notions, and in this connection, there may be one more version of the origin of some symbols, which are so inadequate to the Puritan ideas of Good and Evil. When a spiritual order was disintegrated for some reason, all contents of its spiritual “cuisine” well might be thrown out to history. For example, calling a body “coffin”, the initiated named their scientific and charitable activity among laymen “adorning coffins and tombs.” About mother-nature, hardly forecasted and unruly therefore sacred and fearsome to the most of humans, the initiated could simply say as about a “whore, eating carrion and blood”, meaning the chaotic processes adopting experience and spending human vitality. Therefore we’ll take as guidance the words: “There is nothing secret that cannot be evident; there is nothing hidden that cannot be discovered,” and we’ll discover mysteries and restore sense of symbols, treading in footsteps of enlightened people of all centuries. We’ll try to penetrate in symbolism of one ancient spiritual system, which was robbed of a proper attention of philosophers and esoterics, supposedly because of the excessive exploitation of its symbols and fantasies by fine art makers and their ignorant fans.  The point in question is vampires.
Regardless of the true origin of the words (which is not ultimately known), I venture to suggest that “vampire” comes from “empire”, all the more that the further researching a vampire’s habits well corresponds to the sense of the word-symbol.  Who could the initiated call “imperious”, “grandiose”, “great”? Obviously, these and other titles indicate the one who has achieved a grandiose, that is a great, whole and illumed consciousness. To those who, using a traditional spiritual teaching, woke, carried a Great Work and reached their goal, the point, where the teaching of mystery itself has become the means and method of achievement, because mysteries always were and still are an institution, established for transforming a mere ignorance to the precious enlightenment. Therefore a vampire, in other words, a man with illumed mind and whole consciousness is almost immortal -- which is perfectly natural -- and almost omnipotent, since he has an enormous strength and supernatural powers. He commands spirits of nature and animal instincts as powers of consciousness.  He “lives alone”, that is, he realizes and fulfils his own individuality and wholeness. He “hunts alone”, that is, he is aware of his own responsibility for his choice.  A vampire’s works indicate activity of all secret societies, such as Rosenkreuzer or alchemists; they know and foretell things to come, penetrating in mysteries of nature and life (the story of Frankenstein), turning metals in gold, making the elixir or cure-all, and looking for the philosophic stone. Thus, by all these signs, we see the question is a direct description of attributes and ends of a whole divine consciousness and illumed mind. And we have only to decipher all the rest notions of this kind of folklore.
“A vampire feeds upon human blood.” Blood is a universal symbol of vital energy and strength of resurrection. A whole consciousness can live consuming the spiritual energy that flows through human consciousness. A whole consciousness can transform an ordinary consciousness, which ordinarily suggests death of a brain or mind sponging on the blood is an inevitable process.
 “On a full moon night, a vampire is especially dangerous.” As a body that reflects the sunlight, the moon is a symbol of subconsciousness that reflects the light of spirit. At a full moon night, at the most favorable moment of a fully reflected light of truth, an ordinary man can get enlightenment, and it goes without saying that any vampire is ready for offering his help to save any human from ignorance. A sad empiric cannot be more inspired and inspiring.
 “From a vampire’s bite a human dies, and then he returns to life as a vampire.” From a contact with a whole consciousness, an ordinary mind transforms, experiencing a symbolic death and consequently becoming whole too. A vampire’s bite on a neck or carotid artery of a victim symbolizes the influence of the illumed consciousness upon the ordinary one via the speech and ear, which leads to throwing back the former ideas or notions, at first, and to death of a human as a “welter of contradictions”, and then to his resurrection as an immortal and mighty entity, that is the next vampire.
 “A vampire sleeps in a coffin by day, and he goes for hunting by night.” For a human who has a whole consciousness, the revealed universe or “day” is a “coffin”, in which one can only sleep seeing the illusive dreams about “realization of wishes”. “Night” or internal world, on the contrary, is a field for activities of the illumed mind, for creative works or “hunting” as listening to divine intentions.
Also there is a version that a vampire sleeps “head down”, which is right too, because for a whole mind, the usual world is as though turned over. The mind creates when leaning on the heaven, and its logic, ends and values often are contrary to an ordinary mind’s.
 “A vampire can be recognized by the fact that he doesn’t reflect in a mirror.” The one, who has achieved the whole consciousness, reflects in the mirror of the world no longer; he has neither the past nor his personal history, nor the future.  He wholly belongs to spontaneity and magic of the current moment. Although living in the world, the human is free from limits of time, expanse and human notions.
 “A vampire can be killed by driving a silver stick or silver bullet in his heart.” Silver is a symbol of the material or female. All spiritual teachings warn their neophytes: if a human with whole consciousness is “tempted” being fascinated with a material end or thing, forgetting of the fact that he is the light, center and heart of all, then his “fall to life” takes place, and consequently, his loss of wholeness and immortality.
 “The sunshine does harm to a vampire.” According to spiritual systems, the daylight is only a reflection of a true source -- spirit or the “midnight sun” of adepts. Although the earthly human notions, which give life and assurance to ordinary humans, mean nothing for the enlightened man, but he has to defend his body (soul) and eyes (divine sight of beauty) from the influence of cruel emissions of the world’s “Augean stables” in disguise of pop-culture.
 “From a vampire’s attack a human can defend with garlic, holy water, prayer-bead and crucifix.” Garlic is a good herb for cleaning a human organism. Holy water is a symbol of purifying a human mind. A crucifix in hands or on a neck may be regarded as a reminder of the union of spirit and material. A crossing of streams of strength. Telling beads is a symbol of a purposeful concentration upon creation and of a discipline of mind. However, we shouldn’t think of any defence from a mighty vampire. That’s amusing, at least.
Even such a detail as a vampire’s hairstyle bears an important symbolic sense. The long curly hair of vampires and vampiresses, cascading on their shoulders, is an ancient symbol of wisdom and playfulness of a free illumed mind.
A story of a vampire-hunter describes a mystery of a search of his own wholeness. The hunter is an ordinary but fearless man, who has sublime ends, and who has to wish to kill a vampire, and as a rule, he has to spend much time in search of the “monster”. When his desire leads him finally to a vampire, he has to begin fighting with the “monster”. A result of the fighting is predestined, because the vampire is unconquerable, so the hunter becomes a vampire. Thus, mortals achieve the wholeness of mind through conjoining with their own divine ego.
It looks like all symbolists have chosen the labour (“adorning tombs”) on the summit of “sofia”, clearing for us the hidden sense of symbols and metaphors. In our time of information, integration, communication and open knowledge, there is no use of wasting time for some unfounded superstitious fears or energy-wasting contradictions. The highest summits must be visible; the call must be heard; and the path towards them must become a realized aim of a human. So, an offer to become a “vampire-hunter” should not seem so absurd for us any more. To search and to find him in order to act our divine part.
All of us are flame-born children of the galaxy. Around the flame, we build shields that hide the light. Becoming pupils or hunters, we can find our place among the true insiders of the universe, those who have given themselves to the search for the sake of the ancient flame that burns within them.
P. S.
The full moon approaches. Vampires are waiting.

[ the end of the essay ]


Monday, August 20, 2012

from stories of the traveler

J. J. Winckelmann is a secondary character in my historical fiction A Handful of Blossoms.
On the way to Rome, he is on a visit to Constantine-Leopold, Prince of Askanier-Hortz, who is Consort of my main character Constance-Otilia-Alexandrine, Princess of Anhalt-Welf, whose Diary the reader has a chance to read. After the supper party, in the Castle, the group of table-mates began story telling. One of two stories told by Mr Winckelmann.
Not fond of the 18 century, unlike many fine art lovers, I used the 18 century as setting for my story solely in order to use the image of Mr Winckelmann and, accordingly and necessarily, to mention the name of Antinous.

Read more at :
https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/168036

The storytelling at the party, in my novella, is not like that in “The Decameron”, by Boccaccio, since it’s not a time of the Black Death outside, around the Castle, and nothing frivolous or playful is in the tales told by the table-mates. The story tellers are two: Prince Constantine and his guest Mr Winckelmann. It’s like a contest, but whose heart the contestant would like to win? My heroine Constance-Otilia knows that not hers. Rather Sylvian’s. Sylvian is Constantine’s nephew and one of two listeners. She is the first to leave the party, and it remains unknown to her how the party ends, and even I, the Author, don’t know. I merely can say that it could end anyhow, from the storytelling getting more and more sublime to an orgy.
Constance-Otilia is going on 17; her relatives call her “Tilia” which is one of names of the lime-tree. The lime-tree I regard as my weird tree because it is abloom at the time of summer when my birthday approaches; thus, giving her the name of Wilde’s wife, I never forget of myself, though. Tilia is not my second-self, and yet I give her my features, which is perfectly natural too, in my view. And so, the young thing learns the world. While living at her Consort’s (if the life of the two could be called “family”) she makes her choice, meanwhile, at leisure, falling in love with her husband, first. Not for long. There are a lot of handsome gentlemen her husband’s precinct. After the disappointment in her husband, which happens at the supper party, mentioned above, she dreams of men, as usual. But the love story is not over. One mysterious and dangerous stranger comes in the life of the Castle.
The mental work going on; at leisure, between the events and adventures, she can’t come to a decision about the only man whom her heart took to -- but what more interesting is that all the 3 handsome men, among who she seeks to make her choice, are equally indifferent to her which circumstance cannot stop her young imagination, and in the end of the book, she makes her choice.

The manuscript of her Diary ends with the man’s name, and the reader cannot know whether the choice is fatal to her or not, but I, as the Author, can say that it’s fatal.
After a certain dangerous adventure, she begins feeling dubious about her own virginity, and she remains uncertain about it till the books’ end, but I can say that her doubt is unfounded and she is virgin till the book’s end. No wonder, for the men are indifferent to her.

It must be said, by the way, that as a reader, I always hated reading fiction in the form of a diary, unless it’s non-fiction or a diary is a part of a novel like the tremendous narration of “The Moonstone” (1868) by Wilkie Collins. As an author, I find the genre is nice.

read the first reviews for my 6th book of fiction A Handful of Blossoms--
at Elisa Rolle Reviews
http://elisa-rolle.livejournal.com/1687622.html
at Sam Kasbrick's Reviews
http://sikbookreviews.blogspot.ca/2012/08/review-handful-of-blossoms.html








Wednesday, August 15, 2012

classic



7 poems, translated or retranslated by Lara Biyuts

The Butterfly
by Afanasy Fet (1820-1892)


You’re right. An outline of Air
I am so sweet.
My velvet with its living blinking --
only two wings.
Don’t ask me whence, what brought me,
where I speed.
I light the flower down, here,
and now I breathe.
How long, so aimless, so effortless,
I want to breathe?
That’s it now, flashing, raising wings

I fly away.                   

Godsby Henri de Regnier (1864-1936)


I dreamt gods talked with me:
one god--streams- and seaweeds-clad;
one more--with vines and ears of wheat;
one more--winged, inaccessible
and beautiful in his nude;
and one more--with covered face;
and one more--he who plucks omegas and pansies, singing,
and two snakes enwind his gold thyrsus;
and others…
And then I said: here are flutes and baskets--taste my fruits,
listen to humming of bees and the humble rustle of willows and reeds.
And also I said: Listen, listen--
there is someone who speaks by echo’s mouth,
who is lonely amidst the world’s life,
who holds the double bow and torch,
he who is so inconceivably we…
O sacred face! I coined you as medallions
of silver, soft as autumn dawn,
of gold, hot as the sun,
of copper, gloomy as night,
of all the metals that sound clear as joy,
that sound fatal as glory, love or doom;
but the best medallions I’ve made of clay.
Smiling you will count them one by one,
and say, They are skillfully made; and smiling you’ll pass by.
So, no one of you saw my hands tremble from tenderness,
and the world’s great dream lives in me to come to life in them.
No one of you realizes that I’ve coined my gods of good metals,
that they are a face of all sacred, what we feel
in the forests, grass, sea, winds and roses,
in all phenomena, and in our body,
and that they are divinely we.

Mystical Evening Twilight
by Paul Verlaine


Memory and Evening Twilight
redden and tremble at the glowing skyline
of expectations in flames that retire
and thus enlarge, of which partition
mysterious or repeated bloom
--dahlia, lily, tulip, banewort--
climb around the trellis, and circle
amidst the morbific exhalations
of warm and disturbing perfumes, which is poison
--dahlia, lily, tulip, banewort--
flooding my senses, my soul and my reason,
they mix, into immense languor,
Memory and Evening Twilight.

Artist by Ivan Bunin


Pebbles rustling underfoot. Through the slopping garden,
he walks, glances round the basins
and subsides on a bench… Behind the new white house
the Yayla mountain range so close and heavy.
Heat-wearied, looking crayon-drawn,
the crane is standing in the bush, tail down,
a cane-like leg… He says, “What, Bird?
It’s nice at Volga now! At Yaroslavl!” Smiling,
he begins thinking of his own funeral,
how they will carry his coffin outdoors, how gray
the vests will be in the hot sunrays,
how yellow light, how white the house against the blue.
“From the porch, a fat old priest goes downstairs.
The choir follows him… Frightened and clicking,
the crane takes wing off the old fence and dances,
and with its beak it knocks on the coffin.”
A tickling in his breast. Dust rushes from the highway,
hot and especially dry.
He takes off his pince-nez and thinks while coughing,

“Yes, vaudeville… and all the rest is guille.”

La Lune Blanche
by Paul Verlaine


The white moon
shines in the woods;
from each bough
comes a voice
under the branch…
Oh, beloved.

The pond reflects,
deep mirror,
the silhouette
of the black willow
where the wind cries…
Let’s dream, now is the hour.

A vast and tender
appeasing
seems to descend
from the firmament
as an iridescent orb...
It’s the exquisite hour.

To Myself, by Leopardi

                    
And so, you’ll quiet down for ever,
o my poor, tired heart.
The deception’s perished--final, ultimate,
which I reckoned immortal within me.
I feel that not only the hope
of the dear deceptions has died,
but the desire for them has gone out.
Calm down, for ever. You thrilled enough.
There is nothing worthy of your
pulsing, and the earth is not worthy of the sighs.
Our life is melancholy and bitterness, no more;
the world is dirtiness. Quiet down and stop.
Despair for the final time. Fate doesn’t give us
other gift than dying.
From now on, despise itself,
the nature,
the insulting strength
that covertly bosses the show
of the universal vice,
despise the futility
of it all.

from the Epigrams by Marcus Valerius Martialis


“King of the birds, tell me whom you are carrying?”            
“The Thunderer.”
“Why he has not thunderbolts in his right hand?”                             
“He’s in love.”
“Whose fire did smite him?”                                                             
“A child’s one.”
“Why are you looking at god, your beak is half-open?”
“I’m whispering of Ganymede.”

* * * 

some of the poems are published as a part of my collected notes and essays The Sunless Parlour. Notes, stories and translations by author of the novels Forever Jocelyn and La Arme Blanche. Oscar Wilde, Tolstoy, Kuzmin, Clodt, Henri de Regnier, Verlaine, Chekhov, Stéphane Mallarmé, poetry, humor. “…in a sunless parlour where an old clock ticked in the shadows and a cat slept by the empty grate.” (Evelyn Waugh, Brideshead Revisited)











Wednesday, July 11, 2012

All Colours of Dawn


Excerpt from my WIP. A fictional story from writings by my main character. Someone’s time for reminiscence.

All Colours of Dawn   

That summer of 1886 went as usual, in out part of the world, but the summertime was too short, burning away quickly like gunpowder. The boating with cousins, in the morning; cricket or tennis at noon; and after lunch, in the round hall, my cousin’s tutor performed chansonnettes “for gentlemen only”--  
“Il y a des jours... et des lunes...” 

“...Play the flute,
Be game for anything!..”

“…Sans maman!
Sans maman!
Sans maman!!!”--
And I watched his singing lips that knew oh so much, and I didn’t believe in the frivolous words, preferring believe that there was a charm in amorousness and love was sooner tender than cruel, but I was ready for admitting that my theory was erroneous. In short, I hated the very thought of leaving for the town and going to college. But the sad cold smile of autumn never lies, and soon I had to leave.    
I was late both for the beginning of the academic year and on my first day in particular. Changing in the vestibule, I passed by several swots, going straight to our classroom. Eric Hartberg told me all recent news and remarked, as thought by the way, “I have four of those whom I fag.”
I felt vexed: I had not any, for the present.
With a small nod, he pointed out a new student, “That one seems rather amusing. Well-read, almost like me.”
“Almost like you? Well let’s see.” I went to the new classmate.
The blond boy looked at me, smiled friendly and closed his book--perhaps, d’Aurevilly.
“You read at breaks? Good for you!”
His white skin was too pale; a soft-pink glowworm seemed to shine within his jasmine cheeks. And his eyes were like two lakelets.
I said, “Something divine is in you, but what it is, I can’t understand… for the present.”
Scratching the book-cover with his penknife, he replied melancholically, “And your mouth is rhomb-like. It opens on four sides.”
I said softly and condescendingly, “Before saying a paradox or nonsense, one should think twice, or else a misunderstanding or mistake would cause a lot of problems to the joker.” 
He turned pale, and I got surprised that a human could be yet paler; then he began coughing, and on his white handkerchief, the glossy droplets of his blood looked like lady-bugs. His name was… Let’s say, his name was Ulrich. Ulrich Drottningholm. He was named after his grandpa.
The autumn came early, too early, like death of your favorite poet.
Shivering, the leafless saplings nodded to the gusty wind; two young dogs played tag running over the round stones of the yard; and I walked around the hall and learned a Latin poem by heart. Ulrich approached, and shaking his blond chevelure, he took my hand and pressed my fingers. It seemed to me that he wanted to make me kneel. I said softly but imperiously, “Don’t. I know, Huldericus, you are stronger than me, so, don’t.”
Weak, he gripped my both hands then angrily shook off his hands, and went away.
I smiled: I enjoyed my teasing. His white face glimpsed now and then the day long as he turned it or lifted it a little, having a charm and latent exaltation which kept my eye.
Far in the day I lit upon an interesting idea and the next day, on Saturday, I said to Blond, “Ulrich. You are a beautiful damsel. Put your mama’s coat on and we shall go for a drive! You should have a dorothy-bag about. This is how it must be!”
L’aventure, c’est l’aventure. At the Quay, we seemed to attract everyone’s attention. L’enfant du carnaval, he looked lovely like a young cocotte. Touching his plaid covered knee, I looked in the shade of his dark hat, where, behind the dark veil, the eyes showed blue especially languorously, and watching the rouged lips, I whispered, “Ulrika, a water nymph! Ulla, the goddess of the rococo universe! Falling in love with a mortal man, you would lose your immortality.”
Smiling, he said, “All right.”                           
“I want to fall in love with you, Ulrika, or…” I paused and added, “…I’d rather not.” I removed my hand from his knee.
I carried the dorothy-bag away with me when we parted company.
Far in the day, in the dortour, I greeted Eric by kissing, and to him, Ulrich, I held out my hand, and then I asked, frowning, as though seeking to remember of something, “Do we shake hands?”
Shuddering, the blond boy left, with no reply.
 At dawn, through the mantle of sleep, I heard somebody was brought to hospital--hysterics. Animula vagula, blandula.
Later, in the morning, he approached and put a banknote in my hand, “The money, which I owed to you.”
I shrugged, “Could one owe anything but money?”
Now, the first snow fell, white and heavy, on the brown remains of grass. Frozen, white and fluffy, thin branches interlaced with one another, making a beautiful pattern against the gray sky; on a long bough, a fledgling of a raven ruffled up sadly.
That Tuesday was cloudy and frosty. The snow began falling, covering the old manege. When Eric came running in the classroom, I was late noticing his coming, because I contemplated the stray sunbeam wandering over blots of my notes. Out of breath, Eric aspirated, “He shot himself! Blond shot himself, this morning!”
They said I turned pale. Its not true. I was only surprised. “Dead?”
“They say he isn’t.” Eric took breath.
They said I drew a deep breath. Not at all, I only said, “Of course. One shoots at his heart not to die but to try a new role.”
Here, I heard, “Graf! Oscar Graf! Phone call for you!” The porter Werner led me to the phone-box and stood aside.
“…Hullo,” I said.  
“Ulrich’s mother is here.” Mute tears. “Are you his friend?”
“I think, yes, I am.”
“Didn’t you know that… a reason why he shot himself was you?..”
I was about to reply, but the receiver dropped out. Strangely. They said I turned pale. Nonsense. It was but dismals.
Ulrich was in St Eugenia Community hospital, lying in a separate ward. Seeing me first visiting him, he gave a wan smile of bliss, and I began visiting the white room, every day, after class, to stay by his bedside.
“A message from Eric to you,” I said, one day.
“Read it for me,” he asked languorously, “For I can’t do it.”
I opened the letter and read it aloud--
“Come back, Blond!
Every day, I come to your desk… It’s so sad to read the books which we read together… Get better, Ulrich!
Eric.”
The thin germinating branches whispered, close against the window, as though asking permission to come in the room. Bookended by brilliancy and murk, Ulrich smiled. The cold winter melted into the next season.
Now, the breeze and birds made the green-plumed springtime rustle, slow and captivating. The springtime came early, too early, like your first love. A little bird settled on a branch, for an instant, on the way to its nest. A nurse came noiselessly in, with a cup of fresh broth in hand. Then the door closed again and the white uniform disappeared.
Abed, Ulrich murmured blissfully, “Would you like me to tell a story?..”
Anima persa. I frowned, “Don’t! Enough slobbering and twilight!” I turned on the switch, and almost instantly, all colours of night left the brightly lit room.

 The End