Try to ask even a very well-read English-speaking literary type to name a Slovak writer and you will likely be met with a blank stare. "Well, Milan Kundera was from Czechoslovakia . . . does that count?"
I’m on display here, you fool. I’m wearing my best dress, simple, posh, fresh like fresh fruit, flammable, cling-wrapped to protect it from vagrants, cool like a crouching leopard with taut muscles. And the first words you shoot at me are Hi, Paula, feeling better now?
What he couldn’t afford to do was attend his wife’s funeral where quite a few people might see him. He could not go to his wife’s funeral one day and phone Highly Placed the next. That might ruin everything.
Eventually she got over the pain of having been left behind. After all, so much else had happened to remove the slight shadow this had cast over their relationship, a shadow he was never even aware of. And what use would it have been to dwell on that shadow?
He invited Sabina to dance, reached out and pulled her up. Karolko sat in the wardrobe playing Romany dance tunes but Olda asked for Roll Out the Barrel and later the Firemen’s Song. They danced on the table making the cats run for cover under the wardrobe, meowing mournfully.
He undressed completely, put on a pair of blue swimming trunks, picked up his violin and the bow, tuned it and asked, so you’re not going for a swim then, right, and strode into the field of lupins carrying his violin. He moved forward slowly, holding the instrument high above his head as if to make sure it wouldn’t get wet, as if wading through waves.
As far as I’m aware, none of the big shots in the Third Reich was a sadist.
Nothing matters except the movement itself. The way I walk. I am aware of the present. I am here and now.
I stare at the electrified Poseidon, I stare at him imploringly because I don’t know what he wants. I haven’t the faintest idea of what has got into his head. And my Father the revolutionary, the guerrilla, clutches his ear, forms it into a trumpet with his hand and aims it at a sound I am only now beginning to hear.