Sunday, July 30, 2017

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

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

In the room that held the exhibition on the daily press there was a television on a constant loop, and a chair. I sat in it trembling, listening to data and figures and watching the front pages of newspapers until my father appeared on the screen. He was as I remembered him in his last years. He had a long white beard, which he occasionally ran his fingers through with a flirtatious air, and he talked about newspapers where he’d worked, newspapers he’d seen go under and reappear with other names and other staffs in other places that, invariably, were finished off by the courts soon afterward, so the newspapers went under again and the cycle repeated itself from the beginning, if there ever was one; a whole series of pretty terrible cycles of exploitation and unemployment following one after another without leaving any room for a career or for hope. My father told his story, which was also the story of the press in this city where he’d decided to live, and I, watching him on the screen at that museum exhibition, felt both pride and very strong disappointment, the same disappointment I usually felt when I thought about everything my father had done and the impossibility of following in his footsteps or of offering him achievements that could match his own, which were many and were counted in newspaper pages, in journalists trained by him who in turn had trained me and in a political history that I had once known and then tried to almost completely forget.

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