This is a novel of will, or rather a novel studying the lack of will. Oblomov has a beautiful soul. He is capable of the most noble emotions. His intentions are always good. The storms aroused in his soul are genuine. They shake him deeply. He is honest, good-hearted, idealistically inclined. But--he is Oblamov. He is lazy. He is inertia incarnated. From the apparatus of his thoughts and emotions, there are no wires to the mechanism of action. (Abridged version translated from the Russian by C. J. Hogarth.)
fresh worries!" cried Oblomov gloomily. "Why are you standing there? Lay the table, and I will rise, wash, and look into the whole business. Is the water yet ready?"
Oblomov raised himself and grunted as though he really intended to get out of bed.
"By the way," said Zakhar, "whilst you were still asleep the manager of the building sent the dvornik to say that soon you must quit the flat, since he wants it for some one else."
"Very well, then. We must go. Why worry me about it? This is the third time you have done so."
"But they keep worrying me about it."
"Then tell them that we intend to go."
Zakhar departed again, and Oblomov resumed his reverie. How long he would have remained in this state of indecision it is impossible to say had not a ring at the doorbell resounded through the hall.
"Some one has called, yet I am not yet up!" exclaimed Oblomov as he slipped into his dressing-gown. "Who can it be?"
Lying down again, he
Why abridege? For shame! I just finished Stephen Pearl's translation, published by Bunim and Bannigan and found it delightful, after an admittedly slow start. Well worth the lengthy but necessary set-up.