Results 1 to 9 of 9

Thread: The Crocodile

  1. #1

    The Crocodile

    Has anyone else read this? If so, what did you think? I thought that the relationships between the two main male characters and the main female character (Elena) were interesting. As outlandish a story as it was, I thought those relationships were realistic. Is is true that it was an attack on Chernychevsky? Dostoevsky denied that it was.
    asiege.blogspot.com

  2. #2
    Registered User PoeticPassions's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Earth
    Posts
    1,363
    Blog Entries
    4
    I have read all of Dostoevsky's novels and a few of his short stories, but have not yet read this one... I just found it on-line (which translation did you read, or did you read the original?)

    I am going to start reading it now (but am at work, so not sure how much I will get through). In any case, I will get back to you as soon as I read it, and maybe we can have a nice chat about "The Crocodile."

    (Dostoevsky is my favorite author, so I jump on any opportunity to read something of his I had not encountered)

    Oh have you read his "White Nights?" Great story....
    "All gods are homemade, and it is we who pull their strings, and so, give them the power to pull ours." -Aldous Huxley

    "Sooner murder an infant in its cradle than nurse unacted desires." -William Blake

  3. #3
    Dreaming away Sapphire's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    below the sea surface
    Posts
    1,179
    I saw this post and felt like reading a short story, so I figured I could give it a try I have no knowledge of Dostoevsky as an author, and no idea at all who Chernychevsky might be. So I can't help you there...

    I do enjoy the story, thanks for mentioning it At first I thought "the writer made a mistake" when I read about a man being eaten by a crocodile and a description of it with the words "as he told me later". I mean, how can a man who's eaten talk about it later?!
    Luckely, the rest of the story made that clear I like the arguments of the characters, talking about progress and economics as they do - drawing the ultimate consequences, as long as it is benificiary for themselves. I could understand where there arguments were coming from, no matter how peculiar the situations

    The ending was quite odd though - it just stopped ... I think I might not have the complete story. The last sentence is this:
    Quote Originally Posted by ebooks_adelaide_edu
    I foresaw that there would be a regular crush there, and turned up the collar of my coat to meet it. I somehow felt rather shy — so unaccustomed are we to publicity. But I feel that I have no right to report my own prosaic feelings when faced with this remarkable and original incident.
    Thus where the story teller has read the news in the Voice and walks outside. I really don't think that is the end, but I can't find another version online.

    One thing that is a bit strange to me is the last line of the first chapter
    Having written this first chapter in a style appropriate to the incident recorded, I intended to proceed in a language more natural though less elevated, and I beg to forewarn the reader of the fact.
    I don't really see a difference between the language of the following chapters ...
    It is not too late, to be wild for roundabouts - to be wild for life
    Wolfsheim - It is not too late

  4. #4
    Registered User PoeticPassions's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Earth
    Posts
    1,363
    Blog Entries
    4
    That was definitely the end. I read it as well... I'm still mulling it over... how absurd it all was!

    though some interesting political commentary... satire, I suppose.

    I will get back to this thread later when I catch some more time at work.
    "All gods are homemade, and it is we who pull their strings, and so, give them the power to pull ours." -Aldous Huxley

    "Sooner murder an infant in its cradle than nurse unacted desires." -William Blake

  5. #5
    Chernyshevsky was a socialist author. One of his novels, "What Is to Be Done?", was an inspiration to Lenin. Lenin wrote a work of political theory with the same title.

    It's been said that the German and his crocodile represent Marxism (Marx being from Germany) and Chernyshevsky, although Dostoevsky denied it.
    asiege.blogspot.com

  6. #6
    the beloved: Gladys's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    1,607
    The 'Crocodile' is funny!

    On the eve of visiting Europe it is as well to acquaint ourselves on the spot with its indigenous inhabitants.”

    They are right,” Ivan Matveitch observed tranquilly; “the principles of economics before everything.”

    “Only fancy,” he said, “I always believed that this would be sure to happen to him.”

    But the chief point is that the crocodile is private property.

    The communal holding of land is poison, is ruin.

    So that he will feel it, will be submissive and industrious, and will work three times as much for the same wages.

    To my mind, Ivan Matveitch, as the true son of his fatherland, ought to rejoice and to be proud that through him the value of a foreign crocodile has been doubled and possibly even trebled.

    Again, what possessed him to get into the crocodile?

    Let everybody know, perhaps, that he is in the crocodile, but don’t let them be officially informed of it. ... It will be said he is in the crocodile, and we will refuse to believe it.

    Never has my spirit soared as now. In my narrow refuge there is only one thing that I dread-the literary criticisms of the monthlies and the lliss of our satirical papers.

    “Whom? . . . What captive? . . . Oh, yes! Poor fellow! Well, how is he — bored? Do you know . . . I wanted to ask you ... I suppose I can ask for a divorce now?”

  7. #7
    the beloved: Gladys's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    1,607
    Quote Originally Posted by Sapphire View Post
    The ending was quite odd though - it just stopped ... I think I might not have the complete story.
    Perhaps the final page shows that the entire situation - the German's exhibit, Russia, economics and life in general - is less than satisfactory. Dostoevsky is always the master of understated endings, as in 'The Idiot' and 'The Gambler' for instance. How's this for understatement?

    "I somehow felt rather shy — so unaccustomed are we to publicity."

    The 'News-sheet' newspaper provides one ending:

    A certain well-known bon-vivant of the highest society, probably weary of the cuisine at Borel’s and at the X. Club, went into the Arcade, into the place where an immense crocodile recently brought to the metropolis is being exhibited, and insisted on its being prepared for his dinner.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sapphire View Post
    I don't really see a difference between the language of the following chapters ...
    Semyon Semyonitch becomes more reflective?

  8. #8
    Dreaming away Sapphire's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    below the sea surface
    Posts
    1,179
    Quote Originally Posted by A Siege
    It's been said that the German and his crocodile represent Marxism (Marx being from Germany) and Chernyshevsky, although Dostoevsky denied it.
    I think I need to read it again, for that thought really never crossed my mind. I thought it was rather capitalism, the way the German kept rising the price regarding what the crococile was worth and how many people would ask for it... And as Gladys recited
    the chief point is that the crocodile is private property
    For the ending... I just thought it would in some way involve Ivan getting out of that crocodile, or the narrator getting in Just my mind having expectations One can imagine though that a new chapter could easily be added to this story.

    And for the idea that Semyon becomes more reflective, yes, I think you are right there Gladys. It does still strike me as a bit odd that he would tell us so. It's a nice touch. Does Dostoevsky do such more often?
    It is not too late, to be wild for roundabouts - to be wild for life
    Wolfsheim - It is not too late

  9. #9
    sorry i thought it was The Alligator. i misread.

Similar Threads

  1. Tell Me A Joke
    By smilingtearz in forum General Chat
    Replies: 853
    Last Post: 01-23-2021, 02:41 PM
  2. Where did Hook come from
    By whichpeter in forum Peter Pan
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 09-29-2007, 12:25 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •