The same indifference on his part, added to, perhaps, an even greater indifference on the part of his servant, Zakhar, caused the study, when contemplated with attention, to strike the beholder with an impression of all-prevailing carelessness and neglect. On the walls and around the pictures there bung cobwebs coated with dust; the mirrors, instead of reflecting, would more usefully have served as tablets for recording memoranda ; every mat was freely spotted with stains; on the sofa there lay a forgotten towel, and on the table (as on most mornings) a plate, a salt-cellar, a half-eaten crust of bread, and some scattered crumbs—all of which had failed to be cleared away after last night’s supper. Indeed, were it not for the plate, for a recently smoked pipe that was propped against the bed, and for the recumbent form of Oblomov himself, one might have imagined that the place contained not a single living soul, so dusty & discoloured did everything look, and so lacking were any active traces of the presence of a human being. True, on the whatnots there were two or three open books, while a newspaper was tossing about, and the bureau
bore on its top an inkstand’ and a few pens ; but the pages at which the books were lying open were covered with dust and beginning to turn yellow (thus proving that they had long been tossed aside), the date of the newspaper belonged’ to the previous year, and from the inkstand, whenever a pen happened to be dipped therein, there arose, with a frightened buzz, only a derelict fly.
Oblomov by Ivan Goncharov