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Written by Aleksei Marchyn
“I suffered no pain, my hunger had taken the edge off; instead I felt pleasantly empty, untouched by everything around me and happy to be unseen by all. I put my legs up on the bench and leaned back, the best way to feel the true well-being of seclusion. There wasn't a cloud in my mind, nor did I feel any discomfort, and I hadn't a single unfulfilled desire or craving as far as my thought could reach. I lay with open eyes in a state of utter absence from myself and felt deliciously out of it.”
At some point when the hunger became unbearable the narrator experiences peaceful moments, torments decline and he is not so strongly frustrated. But these are just the moments when he got so used to the feeling of hunger that endures some relief. He is beyond everything that is going on both around him and inside. Nothing vexes him or annoys or hurts. At these moments he reconciles with his state and this reconciliation makes him neither harm nor benefit.
“And the great spirit of darkness spread a shroud over me...everything was silent-everything. But upon the heights soughed the everlasting song, the voice of the air, the distant, toneless humming which is never silent.”
When hunger engrosses the narrator's mind and feelings it seems like some darkness covers him, and this darkness can be traced through the entire text, and is very vivid and even glaring at the moments of hunger absorbing the narrator. Contradictory feelings get possession of his consciousness, and these feelings are revealed by both absence and presence of some voices around him. At one point he feels nothing and hears nothing, but at another some strange distant noises enter his mind and prudence leaves him, he even considers himself a little mad and obsessed.
The states of starving are described with exceeding details, and one can hardly imagine what the narrator has had endured. As the novel is mostly based on autobiographical data, the author must have had experienced really contemptible living conditions and privations.
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