At one of the exhibitions in a secular conversation, a chance to speak about a new, recently published novel. At first no one or almost no one knows about it, but suddenly interest awakens to him. Critics consider it their duty to admire the “Golden Fruits” as the purest example of high art – a thing enclosed in itself, perfectly polished, the pinnacle of modern literature. A laudatory article by a certain Bruhlé was written. No one dares to protest, even the rebels are silent. Having succumbed to all the waves, even those who do not have enough time for modern writers read the novel.
Someone authoritative, to whom the weakest “poor ignoramuses”, wandering in the night, stumbling in the quagmire, turn with entreaty to make their own judgment, dares to note that with all the incontrovertible merits of the novel there are some shortcomings in it, for example in the language. In his opinion, there is a lot of confusion in him, he is awkward, even sometimes
heavy, but the classics, when they were innovators, also seemed confused and clumsy. In general, the book is modern and perfectly reflects the spirit of the times, and this distinguishes real works of art.
Someone else, not succumbing to a general epidemic of ecstasy, aloud does not express its skepticism, but imposes a contemptuous, slightly irritated look. His adherent alone dares to confess to him that he does not see merit in the book either: in her opinion, it is difficult, cold and seems to be a fake.
Other experts see the value of the “Golden Fruit” in that the book is true, it has amazing accuracy, it is more real than life itself. They try to figure out how it is made, relish fragments, like juicy pieces of some exotic fruit, compare this work with Watteau, with Fragonard, with a ripple of water in the moonlight.
The most exalted fight in ecstasy, as if pierced by an electric current, others convince that the book is false, in life it does not happen, the third climb to them with explanations. Women compare themselves with the heroine, suck the scenes of the novel and try
them on themselves.
Someone tries to analyze one of the scenes of the novel out of context, it seems far from reality, devoid of meaning. The scene itself is known only that the young man threw a shawl over the shoulders of the girl. The doubters ask the convinced supporters of the book to explain to them some details, but the “convinced” backslider from them, as from heretics. They attack the lonely Jean Labor, who is especially diligently silent. A terrible suspicion tends over him. He begins, stammering, making excuses, reassuring the rest, let everyone know: he is an empty vessel, ready to accept anything they wish to fill it with. Who does not agree – pretends to be blind, deaf. But there is one that does not want to give in: it seems to her that the “Golden Fruits” are boredom, and if there are any virtues in the book, then she asks to prove them with a book in her hands. Those, who thinks the same way as she, straighten her shoulders and smile gratefully at her. Maybe they have seen the merits of the work themselves for a long time, but they decided that because of such smallness one can not call a book a masterpiece, and then they will laugh at the others, above the non-spoiled, content “liquid gruel for the toothless”, they will treat them like children. However, a fleeting flash immediately turns out to be extinguished. All views turn to two venerable critics. In one hurricane a powerful mind is raging, wandering lights flash feverishly from his thoughts in his eyes. The other looks like a wineskin, filled with something valuable, than he shares only with the chosen ones. They decide to put this idiot, this disturber of tranquility in place and explain the merits of the work with abstruse terms, which further confuse listeners. And those,
Only one of the whole crowd comprehends the truth, observes the conspiratorial gaze exchanged by those two before locking themselves up from the others with a triple lock and expressing their judgment. Now they all worship servilely, they are lonely, “finding the truth,” everything is looking for a like-minded person, and when he finally finds them, those two look at them as mentally retarded, who can not understand the intricacies, chuckle at them and are surprised that they are still so long discussing the “Golden Fruits”.
Soon there are critics – such as a certain Mono, who calls “Golden Fruits” “zero”; Mettetad goes even further and sharply opposes Breyer. A certain Martha finds the novel ridiculous, considers it a comedy. To “Golden Fruits” are suitable any epithets, it has everything in the world, some believe, this is a real, real world. There are those who were before the “Golden Fruits”, and those who are after. We are a generation of “Golden Fruits”, so we will be called, – others pick up. The limit is reached. However, all voices are heard more clearly, calling the novel cheap, vulgar, empty. True supporters claim that the writer made some flaws on purpose. They object that if the author had decided to introduce elements of vulgarity into the novel deliberately, he would have thickened the colors, made them juicier, would have turned into a literary device, and to hide the shortcomings under the word “purposely” is ridiculous and unjustified. Someone this argument is confusing.
However, a benevolent critic, the crowd of those who are hungry for truth asks for a book with a book in hand to prove her beauty. He makes a weak attempt, but his words, breaking off the tongue, “fall off sluggish leaves,” he can not find any examples to confirm his laudatory responses and is disgraced retired. The characters themselves are surprised at how they happen to be present all the time with incredible changes in attitude towards the book, but this already seems quite familiar. All these causeless sudden hobbies are like massive hallucinations. Until recently, no one dared to object to the merits of the “Golden Fruits”, and soon it turns out that they are being talked about less and less, then they generally forget that such a novel has ever existed, and only a few years later,