Tuesday, April 19, 2016

The Finnish touba

Between the Lachtkrinsky marsh and the strand he perceived on the edge of the forests which run as far as Sestroriesk a little wooden house whose walls were painted a reddish-brown, and its roof green. It was not the Russian isba, but the Finnish touba. However, a Russian sign announced it to be a restaurant. The young man had to take only a few steps to enter it. He was the only customer there. An old man, with glasses and a long gray beard, evidently the proprietor of the establishment, stood behind the counter, presiding over the zakouskis. Rouletabille chose some little sandwiches which he placed on a plate. He took a bottle of pivo and made the man understand that later, if it were possible, he would like a good hot supper. The other made a sign that he understood and showed him into an adjoining room which was used for diners. Rouletabille was quite ready enough to die in the face of his failures, but he did not wish to perish from hunger.


Monday, April 4, 2016

After a moment he added vaguely, 'Recognize Finland.'

'Why aren't you writing a picture now?' asked the lady. 

 'Well, you see we're on strike,' Pat invented. 'We got a thing called the Screen Playwriters' Guild and we're on strike.' 

 'Oh.' His clients stared with suspicion at this emissary of Stalin in the front seat of their car. 

 'What are you striking for?' asked the man uneasily. 

 Pat's political development was rudimentary. He hesitated. 

 'Oh, better living conditions,' he said finally, 'free pencils and paper, I don't know--it's all in the Wagner Act.' After a moment he added vaguely, 'Recognize Finland.'

Frozen Lapland, rude and churlish Finland

 I never addressed myself, in the language of decency and friendship, to a woman, whether civilized or savage, without receiving a decent an...