Tags: lev navrozov | passes | russia

A Fallen Lion: Lev Navrozov Passes

Image: A Fallen Lion: Lev Navrozov Passes

By    |   Monday, 23 Jan 2017 02:39 PM

Lev Navrozov, my father, died last night. The Orthodox priest who came to the hospice to administer the last rites could not do so, as one must repent one’s sins and the dying man was unconscious, but truth to tell, my father had no sins to confess. He had lived his whole life in a kind of autistic cell of the mind, as close to monastic confinement as the profane world has to offer to the congenital intellectual whose brain is, or ought to be, his sole active organ.

There was a Russian science fiction novel of the 1920’s called "The Head of Professor Dowell," and the title says it all. The head, as befits the genre, had no body attached to it, only some tubes connecting it to a nutrient medium, and even as a child I used to joke that my father is like Professor Dowell. He had no interest in food, or drink, or sport, and regarded beautiful women as little more than an audience — all the better suited for the purpose as the fair sex, at least in Russia, tends to be more taciturn, polite, and attentive than its gender vis-à-vis. Consequently, as our sins are largely creatures of the flesh, he was a stranger to temptation and trespass alike.

It may be difficult to think of a man as saintly unless temptation is something he fights and overcomes, but the truth of the matter is that we know little of the private lives of the Saints and I suspect that in reality at least some of them harbored the same innate disinclination to trespass. Father Sergius, in Tolstoy’s story of that name, brings an axe down on his finger to frighten away a woman who is trying to seduce him, but in his place my father would not have so much as perceived that such was the woman’s intention. Thus, in New York, he invariably opened the door to Jehovah’s Witnesses who rang the bell, utterly oblivious to their intention to proselytize and seeing in the strangers on the doorstep but a captive audience for his own tale of the impending doom of Western civilization.

On the one hand, this was a man who, while a university student in Moscow, secretly studied forensic science to ensure that his vote against the Communist Party in the 1950 "election" — quite probably, the only such protest vote in the whole of the Stalin era — would not be traced to him through the handwritten bulletin. On the other, this was a man who read the Oxford English Dictionary on a hard wooden train station bench without noticing that his fiancée, my mother, who had misunderstood A.M. as P.M., was more than twelve hours late for their romantic first date. And yet, if you think about it, these two hands were of one flesh — fleshless, intellectual, saintly.

Now he is gone, but I weep for him as though he was all flesh and blood like me, a donkey shedding tears over a fallen lion.

© 2017 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

 
1Like our page
2Share
US
Lev Navrozov, my father, died last night. The Orthodox priest who came to the hospice to administer the last rites could not do so, as one must repent one’s sins and the dying man was unconscious, but truth to tell, my father had no sins to confess.
lev navrozov, passes, russia
504
2017-39-23
Monday, 23 Jan 2017 02:39 PM
Newsmax Inc.
 

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved