Tuesday, July 25, 2017

the last book I ever read (My Fathers' Ghost is Climbing in the Rain: A Novel, excerpt six)

from My Fathers' Ghost is Climbing in the Rain: A Novel by Patricio Pron:

That morning my sister told me she’d once found a sentence underlined in a book that my father had left at her house. My sister showed me the book. The sentence was: “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race: I have kept the faith.” It was verse seven of chapter four of Paul’s second letter to Timothy. Reading it, I thought that my father had underlined that sentence so it would inspire and console him, and perhaps also as an epitaph, and I thought that if I knew who I was, if the fog that was the pills dissipated for a moment so that I could know who I was, I would have wanted that epitaph for myself too, but then I thought that I hadn’t really fought, and that no one in my generation had fought; something or someone had already inflicted a defeat on us and we drank or took pills or wasted time in a thousand and one ways as a mode of hastening an end, possibly an undignified one but liberating nonetheless. Nobody had fought, we had all lost and barely anyone had stayed true to what they believed, whatever that was, I thought; my father’s generation had been different, but, once again, there was something in that difference that was also a meeting point, a thread that went through the years and brought us together in spite of everything and was horrifically Argentine: the feeling of parents and children being united in defeat.

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