On not finding a topic of conversation

And have you noticed, Rodion Romanovich, that among us -- that is, in our Russia, sir, and most of all in our Petersburg circles -- if two intelligent men get together, not very well acquainted yet, but, so to speak, mutually respecting each other, just like you and me now, sir, it will take them a whole half hour to find a topic of conversation -- they freeze before each other, they sit feeling mutually embarrassed. Everybody has topics for conversation, ladies for instance . . . worldly men, for instance, of a higher tone, always have a topic for discussion, c'est de rigeur! -- but people of the neuter kind, like us, are easily embarrassed and have trouble talking . . . the thinking ones, I mean. Why do you suppose that is, my dear? Do we have no social interests, or is it that we're too honest and don't want to deceive each other, I don't know.

Crime and Punishment, Dostoevsky.

1 comment:

Claudia Sousa Dias said...

THAT is an interesting question.