We all want love: to look after, to make dates, to stand for a long time at the entrances of our chosen ones.
I remember how, after the evening of initiation into students, a very effective girl, who became, like me, a freshman, came up to me and said: “I liked you so much, you are so sexy! Let's go to me, I live not far from here."
I couldn't even find a word in reply. Then he turned aside and refused …
Decembrists and Turgenev girls
But in the nineteenth century, such a proposal would have been perceived unequivocally. A lady of easy virtue has penetrated into decent society, maybe something like Nastasya Filippovna from Dostoevsky's The Idiot. Spectacular courtesan! The deepest exception to the harsh general rules.
And how was our company worse? We have all just become students of cultural studies, the most humanities, future bearers of Russian spiritual traditions. But in our time among us this has become quite possible.
The nineteenth century even looked at the literary exercises of George Sand critically and skeptically. Like, where are you, a woman, rushed to the field, where only men work! But the feat of the Decembrists, noble and more than wealthy women, who abandoned everything for their husbands, aroused the delight and admiration of absolutely everyone. Because it was a purely feminine feat, heroism within the bounds of the morality that then allowed a woman to act.
The price includes the same sighs and flowers
Yes, now you can approach a person and just invite him home the first time.
And yet, if you talk frankly with any girl, whatever she does, she confesses to you that she loves flowers, and lofty words, and cavalier-heroes, and without the criminal raid so fashionable now!
A mixture of eras, cultures and traditions
It is simply not necessary to confuse open immorality and lack of morality with the introduction of many other traditions of our planet into European culture.
By the way, that girl, about whom I spoke, is now engaged, and very successfully, in belly dancing. It is these traditions that are closer to her, and in their system of thinking, such a direct recognition to a partner is quite acceptable. Because these are countries where the art of sexual relations, Tantrism and other delights that have penetrated European soil have been developed since time immemorial.
And yet, in the midst of this great confusion, inside the Babylonian pandemonium of our time, there are still eternal values of the very "school love" about which I ventured to speak.
All the same, Culture exists in the world with a capital letter, despite any cultural crises. This means that there is also a culture of human relations.
And I, as a person who has just received a diploma in cultural studies, is pleased to note this.
Culture is the very space where the nineteenth and twenty-first centuries meet. And they easily find a common language.
Photo: Jeremy Daccarett flickr.com/lostprophet