Friday, April 24, 2009

It bears repeating, but the Čapek I'm posting? I'm pretty sure you're the first people to read it in English. Ever. Same as last year.

So too, with this Fuks I've just started the second draft of.

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     "It was long ago, very long ago, when I sent a letter from Prague to Daniel Potocky, lover of food and drink, to make time on Saturday and Sunday and come out to see me at my cottage. I wrote the letter with deliberate ambiguity, and yet urgently, closing with the remark that he certainly would not regret coming. And I sketched out a little map of how to get there once he got off the highway at Benešov.

     I imagined he would brag about it to Jána, who was his intellectual superior many times over, and he did. She called me at the neighbors’ cabin, for they had a telephone. I didn’t even have electricity there, relying on flashlights and oil lamps for light.

     “He was excited,” Jána divulged to me, “to see what I would make of it. Why he was invited. I told him it seemed like you were preparing a feast—you know how he likes to eat—and that you wanted him there for mysterious reasons.”

     Jána had never studied psychology; she was a chemist at the medical examiner’s office, but she had always had interesting insights into people’s personalities. What she had told Potocky about my letter seemed wise.
That memorable June Saturday was unusually hot and humid, as were the days preceding it. People complained of the humidity and torpor, the swimming pool was full of people, and they had even started to run out of beer and soft drinks. “If only it would rain a little,” people said, looking longingly at the sky whenever it started to cloud over. But no rain came. I had no beer or soft drinks at the cabin, just ordinary water, ten bottles of wine, two bottles of Greek cognac, a bottle of middling whisky and an exceptional banana schnapps. I also had three bottles of vodka, four tins of tomato juice and plenty of pepper. “If I mix him drinks,” I thought that Saturday, “he’ll be done. Sooner than I want, and I can’t have that today. He’ll just drink wine, which he can easily stand.” Before his arrival I looked over the glassware and the things for dinner. Then I went into the attic of the cottage, where I had a sort of study, which contained a low round table and a comfortable armchair, and I readied the pistol.

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There's your hook. Unfortunately ninety-eight percent of it still only exists in my handwriting. If you liked it, ask me where I am with it round the summer solstice.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

We like, we learn!

qk said...

Yey!!

Eric said...

Yeah, I do like it. Wasn't expecting that twist at the end.

"And then I pulled out my gun!" ~ "Kayne West" South Park - Trapped In the Closet