Iowa Writes

VIKTORIA FOMINA
The School of Presentation: Opus #2 (A comedy)
Translated by Anna Barker


X. Where are you going?
Y. You needn't worry. It's only a short walk.
X. Do you have your boots on?
Y. Yes, and a coat.
X. What are you looking for?
Y. It should be here somewhere...
X. Did you lose something?
Y. Oh, yes! Here it is—my suitcase.
X. It's very attractive! Give it to me.
Y. What will you ask for next? Let me go.
X. I want to tell you...
Y. Well?
X. I want to tell you...a little tale.
Y. All right. I'm listening.
X. Once...
Y. It sounds commonplace.
X. No matter. Once there lived a bear.
Y. H-m.

X. Where are you going?
Y. You needn't worry. It's only a short walk.
X. Do you have your boots on?
Y. Yes, and a coat.
X. What are you looking for?
Y. It should be here somewhere...
X. Did you lose something?
Y. Oh, yes! Here it is—my suitcase.
X. It's very attractive! Give it to me.
Y. What will you ask for next? Let me go.
X. I want to tell you...
Y. Well?
X. I want to tell you...a little tale.
Y. All right. I'm listening.
X. Once...
Y. It sounds commonplace.
X. No matter. Once there lived a bear.
Y. H-m.
X. One time he went for a walk. From his lair.
Y. So?
X. And met a she-bear. Polar.
Y. Ha-ha-ha!
X. She was quite fluffy. Yes. They had cubs. Eight of them, I believe. One cub...
Y. None of this interests me.
X. Wait. You don't yet know the main thing!
Y. No, and I don't need to know.
X. One of the eight cubs died very young.
Y. Died?
X. Yes, he got scarlet fever. But then the rest lived a long and happy life.
Y. Where?
X. In their lair, of course. But the time came when the she-bear...
Y. What happened?
X. She got sick as well. But with her it was heartache. From worries and old age.
Y. I hope nothing happened to her?
X. Actually, she died as well.
Y. Really? And the he-bear?
X. Oh, I completely forgot! He died even earlier. He was captured by hunters who skinned him.
Y. And what happened to the seven siblings?
X. They were sent to an orphanage. They all grew up, of course. And lost each other. I know that two of them became bandits. Two—drivers. Two more—cosmonauts. And one—hanged himself. Because of unhappy love. Or out of political considerations. I don't quite remember. Well, will you stay?
Y. Let me go.
X. I'm begging you! I know another tale.
Y. Let go!
X. But I'm begging you!
Y. No-no-no.
X. But it's worth the effort?
Y. Leave me alone!
X. I beseech you!
Y. Keep your hands to yourself!
X. I beseech you! Don't abandon me! Don't abandon me!
Y. Take your hands off of me!
X. (Sobs) Don't abandon me.
Y. (With force pushes X away) What a lunatic! (Leaves).
THE END

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About Iowa Writes

Since 2006, Iowa Writes has featured the work of Iowa-identified writers (whether they have Iowa roots or live here now) and work published by Iowa journals and publishers on The Daily Palette. Iowa Writes features poetry, fiction, or nonfiction twice a week on the Palette.

In November of 2008, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) designated Iowa City, Iowa, the world's third City of Literature, making the community part of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network.

Iowa City has joined Edinburgh, Scotland and Melbourne, Australia as UNESCO Cities of Literature.

Find out more about submitting by contacting iowa-writes@uiowa.edu


VIKTORIA FOMINA

Viktoria Fomina, an award-winning fiction writer, represents a new Russian generation in whose literary work the memory of the Soviet era is layered with images of a rapidly changing post-socialist urban scene. Fomina attended the 2000 International Writing Program and returned to Iowa City in 2004 as the Writer-in-Residence at the UI International Programs.

Anna Barker is Visiting Assistant Professor at the University of Iowa's English Department. Her translations have appeared in 91st Meridian and in International Accents magazine.

"The School of Presentation" refers to an acting method developed by Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko, founders of the Moscow Art Theater. The author studied at the Moscow Art Theater School. "Opus #2" is the second of three pieces comprising "The School of Presentation."

This page was first displayed
on September 03, 2006

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