At work in this hermitage (formerly Aladdin’s cave) as the wider world closes down: No lightening in a bottle. No convulsion. No brow-mopping. Without provocation. Without resolutions. Luster-free. No black ants. No brown moths. No biting irony. Acid-free conversation. What’s an author (who already has Oblomov-omatic tendencies) to do?
“To write at night,” thought Oblomov; “when does he sleep? I expect though he earns about five thousand a year– that’s something! But to keep writing, to spend one’s mind and soul on trifles, to change one’s convictions to sell one’s intelligence and imagination, to do violence to one’s nature, to be perpetually astir with excitement, to know no rest and be constantly on the go? …. And, to write and write, like a wheel or machine, tomorrow, the day after, on holidays; summer will come — and he must still be writing? When is he to stop and rest? Unfortunate man!”
He turned his head toward the table where all was smooth and bare, the ink dry, and no pen to be seen, and rejoiced that he lay as free of care as a new-born babe, without dissipating his energies or selling anything …..
[from Oblomov by Ivan Goncharov, Chapter II]