Archive for the '26 Years Old' Category

Twenty-Six Year Old – Eugene Onegin

 

 

12.

It’s wretched (I trust you’ll agree),

Once scorned by the malicious,

To be condemned impartially,

As affected, strange and vicious,

A melancholy oddity,

A satanic monstrosity,

Or else that Demon of my verse.

Onegin (once more I rehearse

His story) having killed his friend,

Without an aim on which to fix,

Reaching the age of twenty-six,

Bored with leisure in the end,

Found, without rank, career, or wife,

Nothing to occupy his life.

13.

He was pursued by a vexatious

Restlessness, an urge for change

(A feeling tortuous and tenacious:

Though some of us are born to range.)

He left his village and his land,

The fields, the woods, that silent stand,

Where the mute and blood-stained shade

Of Lensky haunted every glade;

Began an aimless wandering,

Stirred by a solitary emotion;

Till travel, with its tedious motion,

Became a bore, it seemed, unending.

From Griboedov took Chatzky’s cue,

Sped back towards the ball, anew.

Alexander Pushkin, Eugene Onegin

Published in: 26 Years Old | on February 28th, 2010 | No Comments »

Twenty-Six Year Old – Julia

 

Julia was twenty-six years old. She lived in a hostel with thirty other girls (‘Always in the stink of women! How I hate women!’ she said parenthetically), and she worked, as he had guessed, on the novel-writing machines in the Fiction Department. She enjoyed her work, which consisted chiefly in running and servicing a powerful but tricky electric motor. She was ‘not clever’ but was fond of using her hands and felt at home with machinery. She could describe the whole process of composing a novel, from the general directive issued by the planning committee down to the final touching-up by the Rewrite Squad. But she was not interested in the final product. She ‘didn’t much care for reading,’ she said. Books were just a commodity that had to be produced, like jam or bootlaces.

She had no memories of anything before the early sixties and the only person she had ever known who talked frequently of the days before the Revolution was a grandfather who had disappeared when she was eight. At school she had been captain of the hockey team and had won the gymnastics trophy two years running. She had been a troop-leader in the Spies and a branch secretary in the Youth League before joining the Junior Anti-Sex League. She had always borne an excellent character. She had even (an infallible mark of good reputation) been picked out to work in Pornosec, the sub-section of the Fiction Department which turned out cheap pornography for distribution among the proles. It was nicknamed Muck House by the people who worked in it, she remarked. There she had remained for a year, helping to produce booklets in sealed packets with titles like ‘Spanking Stories’ or ‘One Night in a Girls’ School’, to be bought furtively by proletarian youths who were under the impression that they were buying something illegal.

‘What are these books like?’ said Winston curiously.

‘Oh, ghastly rubbish. They’re boring, really. They only have six plots, but they swap them round a bit. Of course I was only on the kaleidoscopes. I was never in the Rewrite Squad. I’m not literary, dear — not even enough for that.’

He learned with astonishment that all the workers in Pornosec, except the heads of the departments, were girls. The theory was that men, whose sex instincts were less controllable than those of women, were in greater danger of being corrupted by the filth they handled.

‘They don’t even like having married women there,’ she added. Girls are always supposed to be so pure. Here’s one who isn’t, anyway’

George Orwell, 1984

Published in: 26 Years Old | on February 28th, 2010 | No Comments »