Saturday, November 10, 2007

jenny erpenbeck

An excerpt from one of the condensed short stories by Jenny Erpenbeck (Berlin, 1967):

"His wife brings me tea. She has blotches, his wife, he once said to me, like a woman who's been beaten, but he doesn't beat her. How could you possibly have gotten so weak? she asks me. She sits on the edge of my bed and holds the saucer while I drink. I don't know, I tell her, maybe I just overdid it. If you rest a lot, you'll get better. Yes, I say, and take another sip. What do you think of my dress? she asks. I don't like the color, you look too somber in it. At least you're honest, she says. When I ask him, he always says, sure, you look fine, but he doesn't even look up, he doesn't even see what I have on, he just says: Sure, you look fine".
From 'Sun-Flecked shadows of my skull', in "The Old Child & Other Stories".

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