The Crocodile

The Crocodile
An Extraordinary Incident

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The Crocodile by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

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The Crocodile
An Extraordinary Incident

By

2
(2 Reviews)
Translated by Constance Garnett.

Book Excerpt

e stern old man. In any case his advice may serve as a guide for us. And meanwhile take Elena Ivanovna home.... Calm yourself, my dear," he continued, addressing her. "I am weary of these outcries and feminine squabblings, and should like a nap. It's soft and warm in here, though I have hardly had time to look round in this unexpected haven."

"Look round! Why, is it light in there?" cried Elena Ivanovna in a tone of relief.

"I am surrounded by impenetrable night," answered the poor captive, "but I can feel and, so to speak, have a look round with my hands.... Good-bye; set your mind at rest and don't deny yourself recreation and diversion. Till to-morrow! And you, Semyon Semyonitch, come to me in the evening, and as you are absent-minded and may forget it, tie a knot in your handkerchief."

I confess I was glad to get away, for I was overtired and somewhat bored. Hastening to offer my arm to the discon- solate Elena Ivanovna, whose charms were only enhanced by her agitation, I hurriedly le

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A strange and faintly amusing parable that seems to have a serious message about economic mechanisms and communism somewhere hidden behind the jocular premise about the crocodile itself. Well-written and hardly boring, but if the intention was for it to be viewed as deep and provocative, then it's a somewhat clumsy attempt and misses the mark. If it was written to just imply some deep message, in such a way as to skirt around Russian censorship, then maybe it was very clever and brave for it's time, but despite a few witty passages, it still didn't really strike a chord nowadays to this reader.