We Never Make Mistakes: Two Short Novels

By Alexander Solzhenitsyn; Paul W. Blackstock | Go to book overview

MATRYONA'S HOUSE

Some one hundred and eighty-four kilometers from Moscow, and a good half year after the incident, all trains slowed down their march almost as if groping. The passengers clung to the windows, went out into the vestibule. Were they repairing the tracks or what? Was the train off schedule?

No. Having gone beyond a crossing, the train picked up speed again and the passengers settled back.

Only the engineers knew and understood what it was all about.

And so did I.


1

During the summer of the year 1953, I came back at random from the hot, dusty desertlands -- simply to Russia. No one was waiting for me or had invited me anywhere, because I had been detained from returning for a little stretch of ten years. I simply wanted to get back into the heart of the country -- out of the heat, into woodlands with rustling leaves. I wanted to cut myself loose and get lost in the innermost heart of Russia -- if there were any such thing -- and live there.

For a year afterward I might perhaps get a job on this side of the Ural mountains merely pushing a wheelbarrow. Already after considerable construction work had been completed, they had turned me down as an electrician. But I really had a longing to be a teacher. Well-informed people told me that I had wasted my money on the ticket and had stopped there in vain.

-61-

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We Never Make Mistakes: Two Short Novels
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Translator's Preface vii
  • Introduction ix
  • Glossary xix
  • An Incident At Krechetovka Station 1
  • Matryona's House 61
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