Tuesday, September 10, 2013

the last book I ever read (Philip Roth's The Ghost Writer, excerpt two)

from The Ghost Writer by Philip Roth:

My heart, of course, was pounding away, though not entirely because the sound of glass breaking and the sight of a disappointed woman, miserably weeping, was new to me. It was about a month old. On our last morning together Betsy had broken every dish of the pretty little Bloomingdale’s set that we owned in common, and then, while I hesitated about leaving my apartment without making my position clear, she started in on the glassware. The hatred for me I had inspired by telling the whole truth had me particularly confused. If only I had lied, I thought—if only I had said that the friend who had intimated I might not be trustworthy was a trouble-making bitch, jealous of Betsy’s success and not a little crazy, none of this would be happening. But then, if I had lied to her, I would have lied to her. Except that what I would have said about the friend would in essence have been true! I didn’t get it. Nor did Betsy when I tried to calm her down and explain what a swell fellow I actually was to have been so candid about it all. It was here, in fact, that she set about destroying the slender drinking glasses, a set of six from Sweden that we had bought to replace the jelly jars on a joyous quasi-connubial outing some months earlier at Bonniers (bought along with the handsome Scandinavian throw rug onto which, in due course, I had tried to drag the photographer from the Saturday Review).

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