Saturday, July 29, 2017

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

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

If one reads the articles carefully and ignores their typographical errors and erratic syntax, and if afterward one thinks about what they say and accepts that what they describe is what really must have happened, one can sum up the entire story in a more or less coherent narrative: A man was taken to an isolated place through some kind of deception and there he was ordered to sign over an unknown property, which he refused to do; his attackers threw him into a well and he died there. In its simplicity, in its almost brutal pettiness, the story could fit perfectly into one of those books of brutal pettiness, the story could fit perfectly into one of those books of the Old Testament in which the characters live and, above all, die beholden to simple passions, by the hand of an incomprehensible god who is nonetheless still worthy of praise and worship. However, since we can assume that this is not a biblical story and that the motivations of the characters are not subject to the whims of a capricious god, when reading all this, we must also ask ourselves what were the reasons behind these acts: Why was this crime committed? How is it possible that so many people are implicated in a murder that could have been carried out by one, two or, at the most, three people, all of whom could have fit in Burdisso’s little car? And what was he murdered? For his house, which the anonymous writer at El TrĂ©bol Digital presented in his or her articles as a place with no particularly special features? It certainly wasn’t some luxurious mansion that stood out in the puritanical, austere atmosphere of the town. For money? Where was this money going to come from, a sum large enough to outweigh the risk for his killers of winding up in prison for the rest of their lives? Where was a maintenance employee of an athletic club in a provincial town going to get all that money? How could Burdisso’s suffocation be explained if the well, as first reported, was dry? Why some sort of Faulknerian fool, poorer than a church mouse, in a town where his disappearance would be noticed immediately, a town where, moreover, many people would know who Burdisso was, what he had done and who was with him in his final hours?

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