JURGEN
...Smoke-blue fogs were rising from crimpy hollows overgrown with hazel-wood. The huge lake extended to the South, could already be hardly observed behind a dense wadded shroud, and only he who would be here in fair weather, could, having defined the correct direction, discern now its nearest coast from the height of hills. While the far coast with boggy moorlands, without forewords turning into woody foothills to tower, at last, the sparkling Alpine snows, did not exist at all. There was no wind. That day, as well as the previous one, was going to be hot, though there was only mid spring yet. Warmth descended suddenly, but too early, and now in a ridiculous way, neighboured upon just appeared brightly-green grass, naked wood and previous year's shrivelled up leafage not flown down from oaks yet.
Jurgen was walking to his work. The path was winding between pannose fur-trees, falling down into damp gloomy howes, stumbling and touching muscose boulders, which were slumbering in cool calm, then climbing up declivities with light strawberry glades. Blypes of fog were hanging on prickly fur-tree branches, imbueing with an acerb smell of pitch. Here and there, a successive cloud was jamming between high trunks, and Jurgen was diving after the path into an uneven dairy shroud, instinctively holding back his breath, and then swallowing cautiously the ropish dabby air by small portions.
The path was springing by fallen dry acerose leaves and rustling with previous year's leafage. The road was redressed up to the minute. Soon, from a successive declivity, there could already be seen a station, where Jurgen would go down to one minute prior the train, after two precautionary hooters, would appear behind the turn, and with all its four wagons would extend along the platform. This constant minute left in a stock, the exact arrival of the train, two hooters of its - all supported Jurgen's submissions of durability and inviolability of the world in its bases.... Having gone across the platform strewn with fine gravel, he would take his usual seat - the last to the left, near the window in the second wagon. In forty-two minutes of the trip, the train would be involved under the ribbed concaves of the city's central station, then also seven minutes by foot, and here they are - the steps of his office, the massive oak door and the spacious foyer with the white marble wide ladder covered by the red runner carpet, and the constant attendant at the telephone.
... All these were yet to come, while Jurgen was walking to the station, removing by his hand hazel-wood branches too long hung above the path, inhausting wood smells and, time and again, looking around at the rising sun's smudgy with the fog outline. He was not thinking of anything particular: birds' babble, his own breath's and his steps' clamour were, from time to time, smoothly giving way to evanescent vista of some thoughts, images and links, then coming back again. ...Sometimes, there appeared Gudrun - her smile, when she, having turned back, suddenly started running depthward the forest, flashing among trees with her light dress, then her intent unexpectedly serious gaze from under her hand, with the help of which she protected herself from the sun, sitting opposite him on a bench of a white little steamer, when they set off on a walk around the lake, and then a thunder-storm caught them, and how the previous day she looked at him through the glass of her window, while her father dressed as a station attendant was standing nearby Jurgen on the platform. It was the previous day that there was something special in her sight
... The gloomy fur-trees remained behind. The fog almost disappeared. The day was gearing up. Outstriding towards the sun, Jurgen was descending the open flat hill. There was the station below.
Igor Savchenko
Villa Waldberta (Munchen) - Minsk
April - June 2000
Russian-English translation: Andrey Bursau, Minsk