Behind the Green Gates

Feline doppelganger observes and comments on war, literature, sex, mankind, biology, Afghanistan,
tree-hugging, music, art, God and gods, America, books, politics and the return of the Florida anole.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Generational Germinal

As I observe with disgust the modern metrosexual man or the bouncing boy bar babies in their baggy shorts and flip flops and wonder what kind of biological survival vacuum exists in the women who sleep with them, I find it somewhat comforting to confront the same types of concern for the species in random places in history, most recently in my readings set in 19th century Russia. A time of huge upheaval, what with the freeing of the serfs and all, the tea drinking steppe-sitters of the day contemplate with equal concern the direction of the society and in particular the unsatisfactory condition of the youth, the future, the seeds from the past. Turgenev in Fathers and Sons builds his case upon minor worries, soon escalating to a virulent outburst by the uncle, severely disturbed by the self-proclaimed "nihilist" brought home by his nephew. Pavel Petrovich, an aristocratic type of pre-modern times, rants: " ... In the old days young people had to study. If they did not want to be thought ignorant they had to work hard whether they liked it or not. But now they only need say, "Everything in the world is rubbish!" - and the trick's done. The young men are simply delighted. Whereas they were only sheep's heads before, now they have suddenly blossomed out as nihilists!" (Penguin, 1973, p. 70)

1 comment :

  1. "Our higher officials in general are fond of startling their subordinates, and employ quite a variety of means to achieve these ends." (78)So the Russians aren't so very different ...