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Cacti: Writing a Book Together:

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This article is a part of Cultivar's projest: Cacti - Writing a Book Together
(section "Literature")

The story "Cactus"

Afanasy Fet

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Despite clear July day and a hay smell from an oblique meadow, I, accepting quinine, was afraid to have dinner in a flower bed under fur-trees, - and have covered in a dining room. Except three persons of a small family young my friend Ivanov, the passionate fan of colours and plants sat at a table, yes very young guest. Even in the morning, passing through a billiard room, I have noticed that the unique bud of a white cactus (cactus grandiflora), blossoming once a year, prepares for blossoming.
- Today at six o'clock in the evening, - I have told house, - our cactus will start to be dismissed.
If we wish to observe of its blossoming, coming to an end withering midnight it is necessary to take down it in a dining room.
At the end of a dinner hours began to beat out sonorously six, and as if echoing hand bell trembling, the golden ends of external petals of a bud have started to shudder too, drawing of our attention.
- As you have well made, - moderating the voice as if being afraid to intimidate a dismissed flower, Ivanov has told, - that have obeyed me and have cleaned the poor Indian far away from hands of the gardener. It and it has filled in, as has filled in its old father. He cannot reconcile with thought that the plant could live without assiduous watering.
While drank coffee, golden petals were so moved apart that have allowed to see in the middle of the wreath bottom edges snow-white tunic, as if weaved by hands of fairies for the tsarina.
- it is true, it will quite be dismissed yet soon? - The young girl has asked, without addressing to anybody especially with a question.
- Yes, perhaps, not earlier as by seven o'clock, - I have answered.
- Means, I will be in time still play on a piano, - the girl has added and has left in a drawing room to a grand piano.
- Though also close to a decline, the sun all the same disturbs to a flower, - Ivanov has noticed. - allow, I will help it, - it has added pushing a white curtain of a window which had a flower.
Gipsy melodies which the power it is necessary me were soon distributed is omnipotent. The attention of all has been turned on a cactus. Its golden petals, shuddering here and there, started to become beams in which centre white tunic all moved apart the folds more widely. In a room the vanilla smell was heard.
the Cactus captured our attention as if compelling us to participate in the silent celebration; and Gipsy songs whimsical sighs rushed into our silence.
My God! It was thought to me, what painful thirst of utter devotion, boundless caress is heard in these grieving tunes. Melancholy in general feeling painful; why this melancholy breathes such happiness? These sounds do not bring neither representations, nor concepts; on their quivering wings live ideas rush. Also what, under the truth, give us our representations and concepts? One hostile pursuit for inappreciable true.
Unless the firmest astronomical concept about an invariance of lunar diameter can force not to see me, what the moon has expanded in the east?
Unless philosophy, convincing me that the world only angrily, or only kindly, or neither that, nor another, is imperious to force me not to shudder from a touch harmless, but a disgusting insect or a reptile or not to hear these calling sounds and this gentle aroma? Who thirsts for trues, search for it at artists. The poet speaks:

    Revering prayerfully
    Before a beauty relic.
    Another states the same words:
    without having terminated a prayer,
    that sound I will answer
    Also I will rush from fight
    to It I towards.

To it, at least, trusted in the forties. These beliefs were the general property. The poet then could not tell another, and gipsies could not go that way on which have descended now.
And they trusted in beauty and consequently it and knew. But after all the beauty is eternal. Its feeling - our born quality.
Gipsy tunes have ceased, and the grand piano cover has quietly knocked.
- Sofia Petrovna, - Ivanov has called the young girl, - you have terminated just in time. A cactus in the deification. Go, you at a distant day will see it. The girl has approached and became near to Ivanov who have sat down against a cactus on a chair that it is better to make out beauty of a flower.
- Look, what luxury of fabrics! What virgin cleanliness and freshness! And these stamens? This papal sprayed, which ends are given to drink by a gold solution. Now glance there, in depth mysterious flower. The eye does not distinguish the end of it not that light blue, not that of a light green grotto. After all it is a magic water grotto of island Capri. Necessarily you trust medieval fairies. This magic cave is created for them!
- it is very similar to a sunflower, - the girl has told and has departed to our table.
- That you speak, Sofia Petrovna! - with horror Ivanov has exclaimed, - in what you find similarity? Unless in that just both that and another - a plant, yes as that and another is bordered by yellow petals. But also between the last a shouting dissimilarity. At a sunflower they short elliptic and soft, and here, you see what radiant star, as if forged from gold.
Yes a flower? After all it is a love temple!::

:. When began to disperse, the cactus and at a lamp still shone in all beauty, extending a delightful smell of vanilla.
Ivanov has once again sat down by it to admire, inhale and suddenly, addressing to me, has told:
- Know, whether to cut off it now in this kind and whether to put in water? Perhaps, then he will live till the morning?
- will not help, - I have told.
- After all all the same to it to die. Whether so, whether no.
- it is valid.
the Flower has been cut off and put in a glass with water. We have said goodbye. When in the morning we have gathered to coffee, on the brink of a glass the callous corpse of a yesterday's handsome man of a cactus lay.

A.A.FET the Cactus. It is printed under the edition: Fet A.A.Sochinenija: In 2 t. Т. 2. М:
Fiction, 1982. ИБ № 2682 MARYINS the GROVE
Composer Vladimir Bronislavovich Muravev

Addition to article

the Soviet encyclopaedic dictionary:

FET (an ice crust. фам. Shenshin) Athanasius Afanasevich (1820-1892)
the Russian poet, the corresponding member Petersburg Academy of Scienses (1886). The pictures of the nature sated with concrete signs, fleeting moods of human soul, musicality: "Evening fires" (collections 1-4, 1883-91). Many verses are set to music.

the Big Soviet encyclopaedia:
Fet, Shenshin, Athanasius Afanasevich [23.11 (5.12).1820, with. Novoselki, nowadays Mtsensky area of the Oryol region, - 21.11 (3.12).1892, Moscow], the Russian poet. The son of landowner A.N.Shenshina and Carolina Fet; has been written down by son Shenshina. However in 14 years legal illegality of this record that has deprived of all privileges of noble family was found out. In 1844 it has ended verbal branch of philosophical faculty of the Moscow university and on purpose to receive noble rank has enlisted (1845). The first collection of verses - The Lyrical pantheon (1840). To the beginning of 60th, the period of sharp delimitation of the public forces connected with a revolutionary situation, publicistic performances in protection of the rights of the landowners concern, carrying is underlined ретроградный character. Shortly before it Fet has retired and was engaged in an economy in the estate; wrote at this time a little. Only in the evening of life the poet has returned to creativity, having let out 4 collections of verses under the general the name "Evening fires" (1883-91).:

F is known as translator Goratsy, Ovidy, J.W.Goethe, etc. ancient and new poets. For the first time has translated on Russian language A.Shopengauera's treatise "The world as will and representation" (1881). The author of memoirs "My memoirs" (p. 1-2, 1890), "Early years of my life" (it is published in 1893). Many verses F are set to music.


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