The New Russian and the Demon

Расим СЕЙФЕТДИНОВ | Драматургия

The New Russian* and the Demon

(An excerpt from the poem in three acts)

The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

The New Russian: Semyon Vasilyevich Zadvizhkin.
The Demon: a Professor of Virtual Magic.

Act 1

Semyon Vasilyevich Zadvizhkin sits in a chair in his mansion, carefully eyeing the painting he recently bought in England for several million pounds. On the painting, you can see the sea with splashing waves and a battle of sailing ships in the distance.

Zadvizhkin:

Whose intellect is as strong as Hercules?
You hardly find much reasonableness around!
However, I can say I know my weak spots.
Of course you can be tricked anywhere,
Yet I have a strong mind and a power
To stop somebody who plays the fool with me.
But those who deceive themselves
Not seeing things that they don’t like to see,
They are always ending their way,
Becoming jailers of their own aspirations.
And so the road to hell is paved
With self-deception and foolishness.
That’s why I, from my childhood,
Do not do anything without real reasons.
(looks at the painting)
One thing I do not understand: why I put big bucks in it,
Trusting the advice of Senka Shmunderovsky?

The Professor of Virtual Magic sits on the edge of a large chair like a girl in a mini-skirt. He behaves modestly and shyly, as if he fears to show something that he mustn’t show. It looks like he would be happy to relax, but he is nervously constrained because he constantly remembers that he mustn’t reveal something. Nonetheless, he says his question as indifferently as somebody spits sunflower seeds.

Professor of Virtual Magic:

What if you lost your power one day?

Zadvizhkin (answers without thinking):

That day I will appear before the Court!
But what a Court we have?
Our Court absolves all moneybags.
And if I lost my millions one day,
I would be as feeble as a mouse!


* New Russians is a term for the newly rich business class in post-Soviet Russia. It is perceived as a stereotypical caricature. According to the stereotype, New Russians achieved rapid wealth by using criminal methods during Russia’s chaotic transition to a market economy. Having a modest education and social background, New Russians are perceived as arrogant nouveau riche and gaudy, conspicuous consumers with poor taste. Money and status symbols are prominently displayed by the New Russian, in particular jewelry and luxury cars.

About the author:

Rasim Seifetdinov (Rasim Safe)

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