Boris Akunin likes to trawl through old family photo-albums and gaze at the portraits and try to imagine what fates befell their subjects. Often he looks for a long time at a photograph and concocts an entire biography, and then he looks at the back of it and more often than not realises that his romantic imaginations do not match the facts.
This is a picture he posted on his blog.
A lovely little girl. Surely, thought Akunin, this is a girl who had a wonderful destiny, beautiful loves, a life full of drama and unexpected twists (after all, she would have lived in twentieth century Russia). And the girl would surely become someone, because not only was she beautiful but there were makings of an extraordinary personality.
Then he turned the photo over to the other side and learned that little Lyuba Lokshina was born March 9, 1917, and died April 12, 1929. As far as I can make out, she died when a balcony collapsed.
As Akunin says, this is not just tragic but absurd. One can somehow get used to tragedy. But absurdity?