Thursday, June 9, 2016

the last book I ever read (Don DeLillo's Zero K, excerpt seven)

from Zero K by Don DeLillo:

We went to her place, a modest apartment in a prewar building, east side, and she showed me Stak’s room, which I’d only glimpsed on earlier visits. A pair of ski poles standing in a corner, a cot with an army blanket, an enormous wall map of the Soviet Union. I was drawn to the map, searching the expanse for place-names I knew and those many I’d never encountered. This was the boy’s memory wall, Emma said, a great arc of historic conflict that stretched from Romania to Alaska. On every visit there would come a time when he simply stood and looked, matching his strong personal recollections of abandonment with the collective memory of old crimes, the famines engineered by Stalin that killed millions of Ukrainians.

He talks with his father about recent events, she said. Doesn’t have much to say to me. Putin, Putin, Putin. This is what he says.

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