These two intellectuals find common ground in more than the fact of loving the same woman. Despite this rivalry, they jointly haul up treasure chests of buried culture from the depths and vastnesses of their minds.

For a metaphor based on ocean beds, see also: ‘Varied like an ocean floor’.

‘It seemed to Yevgenia as though these two men had raised from the ocean-bed a whole sunken world of books, pictures, philosophical systems, theatrical productions.’

Source: Life and Fate, Vasily Grossman; trans. Robert Chandler (New York: New York Review Books, 2006 (1985)), p. 134

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