Saturday, August 12, 2017

the last book I ever read (An Episode in the Life of a Landscape Painter by César Aira, excerpt ten)

from An Episode in the Life of a Landscape Painter by César Aira:

Like a Mater Dolorosa, Krause held the unconscious body of his friend and master, under crowns of foliage multiplied to infinity. The trills of a sky-blue cephalonica encircled the silence. Night was falling. It had been falling for some time.

In the last, miraculously drawn-out light, soldiers and ranchers gathered at the fort to debrief. The horses were exhausted. The riders hung their heads, speaking in mournful grunts; all were grimy, their faced powdered with dust, some were falling asleep in the saddle. Krause joined one of the parties, with Rugendas slung over the back of his horse, sleeping off a dose of powdered poppy extract, his head hanging level with the stirrup, which gave it a ding like a bell’s clapper at every step. The mantilla, however, had remained in place. Night had fallen by the time they reached the fort, and they reached it none too soon, for the darkness was absolute.

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