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The Woman in White Marble

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Igor Miroshnichenko

Igor Miroshnichenko (born 12 March, 1977 in Rostov-on-Don, Russia) is an English-language writer, novelist, and essayist; he writes under a pen name Igor Eliseev, the maiden name of his mother.

Igor Eliseev begins his literary activity in 1999 with short stories, essays and film script. Later the idea of the script is repeatedly reconsiders and develops into the literary novel – the most important project of his life that has not yet been completed. However, in 2015 he finishes his second novel, which by a twist of fate becomes the first one. One-Two, dedicated to the memory of his mother, tells the story of two conjoined sisters, named Faith and Hope, born in the era of the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Igor Eliseev is married; lives in Moscow; speaks English, Italian and Russian. His interests include: Literature, Photo, Philosophy, Psychology, Design, Sport, Cinema, Art.

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What Do We Live For?

Sometime in the distant past, I came across an article in the internet newspaper explaining everything. It was called "Multiplying sadness ". Article was written in an uncompromising form and raised so-called “eternal” questions: “What we live for”, “Why are people so cruel”, “How wars end”, etc. and simultaneously answered them. The article sad that scientists, namely – neurobiologists, sociologists, ethnographers long ago were able to spotlight all these important items and answer on them in a very substantive manner, and only we, silly old people are still tormented with them.

The first logical question: “What do we live for”, to which I could hardly believe to respond, gave me the extremely simple, but absolutely unexpected answer: “For nothing”. Well, basically, we do not need to look around for anything else of importance, because we have already been dropped on a desert to die with that answer of that kind. Being cut to the quick, I at the same time realized the limits of their understanding of the life and their practical identification with the events on world stage. Moreover, I think that no one would have accepted such an answer even if it were published in Times twice a week. I spitted and spurned, saying: “Who do they think they are that have seen themselves as immune from liability for nonsense?”According to the authors of article, our perception that everything in the world exists for serving some moral or didactic purpose is the purest anthropomorphism; there are no factors that can explain the relationship between the cause and effect, and the judgment, opinion or conclusion, such as: “God made the sun shine for people” is extremely selfish and narrow minded. The article explained, in particular, that from the outset, we got used to benefit fully from everything that surrounds us – from the sun, from air, from life and death and that is why we never be able to view life as meaningless; in fact, most of us would be horror-stricken by the very idea of senselessness of our actions, intentions, existence – of everything.

As for me, I believe that life carries its own meaning in itself, which means affirmation of the will to live that manifests itself around us only if we devote ourselves to loving the life we live and the people we are. Therefore assuming that life is meaningless and ends as soon as we die, we devalue it and consequently nullify its manifestations. And this, in my opinion, is the most terrible what lies behind the above-mentioned article.

Creative workers, artists and other creative persons have made numerous attempts to answer the main question: “What do we live for”. For example, Fyodor Dostoyevsky experienced that the meaning of life is to give an onion to the person dying of starvation – to extend a helping hand. The parable of the onion (From the Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky) is nothing but an act of mercy – wishing to be relevant and critical to our society, the instant natural readiness to help a person or to truly forgive him for hurting you. Thus, the main goal of life according to Dostoevsky is not to betray the essence of humanism and remain human being equally in all settings and circumstances.

So, I am sure that you, in turn, have already found your own meaning of life, is possible different from mine and that is fine. I have all ground to believe the most important thing is to make no doubt that everything has its own time and purpose, even a light feather falling from the sky at our feet.

Copyright © 2016 Igor Eliseev


The Look of a Real Rebel

Having jumped around in various rebellious internet articles, I quickly find out that actually it’s not an expensive solution to be a person from inside the system during this time of change, reform, and limited ideas. If, however, more recently, to imagine what a real rebel would look like, we could only say: rebels are considered the people with non-traditional, and I would say, with revolutionary and evolutionary views on working and living, capable to overturn consciousness of the general public and change the course of history, most probably, it’s no longer a grasp of current affairs today.

I quite often face exclusion and misunderstanding, saying that I’m keen on sport all my life, have no a problem with alcohol and cigarettes, get adequate food and proper nutrition. But, just imagine that, many people refuse to accept my (and other people’s) ideas of happiness. It looks like I’m trying to impose something that they firmly opposed, not being able to understand or speak the language I use. Essentially, I’m afraid that these are the mental and creative capacities and an appropriate level of culture that make all the difference. Even more surprising, however, is that I don’t say all these tiresome things that are usually said, I just want to share my thoughts of what consisted of a healthy lifestyle, for I believe people must tell people when they are wrong or misguided, and must be prepared to speak truth when it is right to do so. My position, however, causes permanent misunderstanding, irritation and even disgust.

So, let me return to the original subject and share with you some ideas. My own observation and the preliminary findings suggest that today you don’t have to be Edward Snowden or Vladimir Lenin to become a known rebel. For this purpose it is enough to drop smoking, be sure to drink plenty of water, to increase fruits and vegetables consumption, make more movement, and certainly the most important thing is to fight for your dreams. That may sound like a joke or a paradox, but it simply reflects the fact that the world is surging forward with incredible speed. Thus it’s pretty much possible to become a real super rebel now, without any plan, without really showing any human effort, and without increased risks for the environment and health. And you know what? I think, I might be right to be born in the time and place I’m in. And what if you're right too?

Copyright © 2016 Igor Eliseev


Rejections, Rejections, Rejections

I believe any beginning writer has ever met with rejections with varying degrees of damage. Rejections run through the whole life of Martin Eden, having pushed him to the final frontier. Rejections have brought about serious reconsiderations in Nabokov’s life, having forced him to write in English (his Lolita was written in English and published in 1955 in Paris, in 1958 in New York). Rejections might have caused the main reason for cessation of literary activity of Man Booker prize winner Marlon James. There are many examples of rejections coming out under false or true pretenses. Truly speaking, I’d really want to avoid such a destiny as certain knowing what the rejection is, but, quite apparently, I am required to go through similar cases of a full literary experience, just like Martin Eden did. I get rejections almost every day at some point or another: big ones and small ones, engaging ones and distantly polite ones for all taste, smell, color, appearance, etc. Well, people are entitled to express their views, whether we like it or not.

 These thoughts most often appear after a “prodromal” period:
“....I am refused because there are too many writers in the world and too much competition....” 


 Let’s take a closer look at this statement. Indeed, there are a lot of writers in the world, and their nominal amount will increase further in the near future because the number of educated and knowledgeable people is going to increase as well. However the number of lawyers, accountants, stylists, constructors, athletes, chefs and long-term nemployed persons around the world grows up in proportion; thus you might face the serious competition almost everywhere. But despite everything, reading audience may always be found, since more and more people of multicultural knowledge societies interested in self-development will keep on reading more and more books (during a person’s leisure time).
“....I will give up writing because book shelves are filled with books. Hundreds of thousands of English-language books are published each year. My book will get lost among them....”
Yeah, the beginning writer seems a tiny fish among blue whales in a modern publishing world; his book may not be known under the pressure of eminent writers and new authors until it gradually disappears and to never be found. But that is not something to regret, that is an occasion to learn new writing techniques and finally come up with works worth to be published in literary magazines, books and even to be awarded at national and international contests.

“....I do not write as I should because I have to support myself financially and have been doing it for years....”
This is a really substantial reason to stop writing; I see what you are driving at. And yet, I insist, money itself doesn’t bring happiness, true happiness is brought by favorite job. Many famous authors had to work at another job to make a living before their novels became a part of history. So, I've got just one question, do you really love to write?
I personally found my calling as a writer when I was eighteen; since then a lot of things has changed in my life, almost everything except my calling to be a writer. For me give up writing is equivalent to stop drinking or eating. Do you dig what I mean?
I surly want to gain income from my books, but this is normal and natural desire, especially in our own stark times when everything costs money. But I am going to write under any circumstances, whether I am published or not, if I could buy things I don't need to impress people or I am dying of hunger which might impress people also.
In conclusion I want to say, I cope with rejections in the simplest possible way: I read them smiling slightly  trying to discover any of the experts’ hints and tips; sometimes agents or publishers can give a good advice, believe me or not. And then, after reading the “Correspondence Outliers Rejection”, I start working on my next novel which is supposed to be published.

Copyright © 2016 Igor Eliseev