Saturday, January 11, 2014

the last book I ever read (The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt, excerpt seven)

from Donna Tartt's The Goldfinch:

“You know what I did in college?” I was telling him. “I took Conversational Russian for a year. Totally because of you. I did really sh*tty in it, actually. Never got good enough to read it, you know, to sit down with Eugene Onegin—you have to read it in Russian, they say, it doesn’t come through in translation. But—I thought of you so much! I used to remember little things you’d say—all sorts of things came back to me—oh, wow, listen, they’re playing ‘Comfy in Nautica,’ do you hear that? Panda Bear! I totally forgot that album. Anyway. I wrote a term paper on The Idiot for my Russian Literature class—Russian Literature in translation—I mean, the whole time I was reading it I thought about you, up in my bedroom smoking my dad’s cigarettes. It was so much easier to keep track of the names if I imagined you saying them in my head . . . actually, it was like I heard the whole book in your voice! Back in Vegas you were reading The Idiot for like six months, remember? In Russian. For a long time it was all you did. Remember how for a long time you couldn’t go downstairs because of Xandra, I had to bring you food, it was like Anne Frank? Anyway, I read it in English, The Idiot, but I wanted to get there too, to that point, you know, where my Russian was good enough. But I never did.”

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