Wednesday, March 25, 2015

the last book I ever read (Linn Ullmann's The Cold Song, excerpt three)

from The Cold Song by Linn Ullmann:

On a threadbare blanket on the threadbare couch lay Jon’s dog, with his relish for the inner organs of beasts and fowls, hence his name, Leopold, after Leopold Bloom; regular dog food was out of the question, he’d rather starve than eat regular dog food. He was a big, black Lab mix with a white patch on his chest and a doleful look in his eyes. Leopold knew that John was never going to finish his book and this worried him. The reason that this worried him—he was, after all, a dog and not a particularly pensive dog—was that Jon had stopped taking him for long walks. Jon was incapable of doing anything until the book was finished—apart, of course, from not writing, not beginning, and not finishing.

What Jon Dreyer said to himself and also to Leopold was that once the summer was over and the book was finished, everything would return to normal and then they could go for long walks. It was still possible to finish it this summer. It was only the end of June. If he wrote ten pages a day, he would have sixty new pages every week—he’d take Sunday off and spend quality time with his children—which meant that he would have about three hundred pages by the end of August. Three hundred pages was a book. It had worked before, it could work again. Ten pages a day starting tomorrow. So day after day Jon sat at his laptop intending to write, either that or he lay on the floor next to his dog and tried to sleep, or he gazed out the window, or he read newspapers online and wrote text messages to women who might or might not reply, and after a lot of all that he ate peanuts and drank beer.

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