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Oblomov, Ivan Goncharov: Oblomov/Stolz


Right, Oblomov is a Russian novel of the nineteenth century. It's supposed to be a comedy, but it's the sort of comedy where by the end you find yourself in tears of despair and on the brink of suicide. Very Russian. And very slashy. Oh, so slashy.


 

So. Oblomov is this faded lazy aristocrat type, who finds most people boring. Except for Stolz, his childhood friend, about whom he thinks:

There was only one man only whom he was fond of; he, too, gave him no peace; he liked the latest news, and society, and learning, and life as a whole, but, somehow, more deeply and sincerely - and although Oblomov was kind to everyone, he loved only him and trusted him alone, perhaps because they were brought up, educated, and had lived together. This man was Andrey Karlovich Stolz. Stolz is of German descent, just in case you were wondering. None of Oblomov's other friends like him. At all.


Stolz arrives, and he and Oblomov reminisce a lot. Stolz is trying to persuade him to go abroad.

"...And when I drew up a plan for a journey abroad and asked you to take a course at the German universities with me, you jumped to your feet, embraced me, and solemnly held out your hands to me: 'I'm yours, Andrey, and I will go with you everywhere.' Those were your very words."

Lots and lots of plot takes place, including various slashy scenes. They fall in love with the same woman, that sort of thing. Then Oblomov and Stolz have a long separation. And then they meet again.

Oblomov came to: before him stood the real Stolz, not a hallucination, but as large as life. ...Stolz and Oblomov were left alone, looking silently and motionlessly at each other. Stolz seemed to pierce him with his gaze.

"Is it you, Andrey?" asked Oblomov in a voice that was almost inaudible with emotion, as a lover might ask his sweetheart after a long separation.

"It's me," Andrey said softly. "Are you alright?"
Oblomov embraced him and clung closely to him.

"Ah!" he said in reply in a drawn-out voice, putting into that Ah all the intensity of the sorrow and gladness that had lain hidden in his heart for a great many years and that had never, not perhaps since their parting, been released by anyone or anything... ... ..
. Well. Really. Even by Russian-novel standards, these two are indisputably gay.

Oblomov heard the last words and was going to say something, but could not. He held out both his arms to Andrey, they embraced firmly and in silence, as people embrace before a battle, before death. This embrace stifled their words, their tears, their feelings.

Then Stolz leaves. Oblomov dies soon after. (Presumably in Russia they found that hilarious.)

 

 

"Oh, Andrey," he said, in a tender beseeching voice, embracing him and putting his head on Stolz's shoulder, "please leave me altogether –" forget me --"

 


Stolz finds out that Oblomov has married his landlady. He realises it's all too late. Oh, and Oblomov named his son after Stolz. He's all overcome.


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Comments

dicaxscriptor
May. 25th, 2009 02:53 am (UTC)
Wow. The slash, it is blatant.