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Written by Aleksei Marchyn
The main character of the story never reveals his name. He is a poor journalist making two ends meet. Pursuing the career of a writer, he is painfully experiencing the discrepancy between the ideal and the material world. His soul hovers somewhere high, but the body, forced to live in deplorable conditions. His manuscripts are refused to be printed, but he does not stop trying to write a masterpiece. Even at the moments of despair when he has been starving for several days and goes to extremes, trying to bite off his finger, his dream did not let him surrender. At the same time he tries to live with a clear conscience, does not accept charity, and is ready even to provide assistance to needy. It would seem he is a great man, and deserves to be respected. But all is not so simple, the coin has another side. The protagonist is a terrible egotist, and his nobility and honesty are quite insincere emotional outbursts. It is an attempt to gratify his ambitions. He likes to make people feel silly themselves, deceive them. He takes inspiration as something granted, as a thing that God is obliged to provide him with, and it is God who, in his opinion, is to blame for all the creative failures.
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