“It is dull in this world, gentlemen.”
Nikolai Vasilievich Gogol, “The Tale of How Ivan Ivanovich Quarreled with Ivan Nikiforovich”
Today I agree with Gogol’s remark. What a compelling way to end “The Tale of How Ivan Ivanovich Quarreled with Ivan Nikiforovich” that I just finished re-reading!
Gogol’s peculiar, often detestable characters and his vivid, witty language takes you on a captivating journey. A journey that leaves little room for other thoughts. It makes you smile and frown. It’s absurd at times (just like life can be), but no matter how bizarre it seems, it does remain real, and everything falls into place at the end. When you finish reading, you know that every word and every punctuation mark played a certain role in the narrative. And despite the dullness you wish for more. More meaning, more experience, more of this bizarre life story. I’ll end a dull day with that wish for more, mesmerized again by the power of good literature. Experiencing it is one of the best things this world has to offer. We should do it more often.