Part 7, Chapter 3 Summary
While in Moscow, Levin spent a lot of time with his old friend at the university, Professor Katavasov. While they have differences, Levin appreciates Katavasov’s clarity of thought and Katavasov enjoys Levin’s “abundance of untrained ideas.” After reading some of Levin’s book and liking it, the professor told Levin he would like to introduce him to Metrov, who is also interested in Levin’s work.
Now Levin has arrived for that meeting, and the three talk first about the latest war news. When the other two men disagree on what they have heard the Tsar might have said, Levin imagines a scenario in which both of them can be right. They quickly change the topic of conversation to Levin’s book. Katavasov is impressed at Levin’s view of man as part of, not separated from, the laws of nature and biology.
Levin explains that he began to write about agriculture by studying the primary instrument of it: the laborer. He blushes as he tells them he found the results surprising. He carefully begins to make his case; he knows Metrov has written an article against the mainstream view of the political economy, but Levin does not know if Metrov is at all sympathetic to his views.
The first question Metrov asks is whether Levin believes the Russian worker is what he is because of his biological characteristics or the conditions in which he has been placed. Levin senses a point of disagreement with the man but explains that he believes the Russian worker is different than any other worker in the world. Without letting Levin explain himself, Metrov expounds on his own theory. Levin does not understand what Metrov is explaining because he chooses not to understand.
Levin listens reluctantly and at first asks some questions and would have liked to make several points of his own which would have negated Metrov’s assumptions, but he is eventually convinced that they can never understand one another and remains silent. Levin is flattered that a man of such...
(The entire section is 521 words.)