Sunday, August 19, 2018

the last book I ever read (Frankenstein in Baghdad by Ahmed Saadawi, excerpt four)

from Frankenstein in Baghdad by Ahmed Saadawi (Translated from the Arabic by Jonathan Wright):

Elishava put the heater close to Daniel in the sitting room, then went away for a few minutes and came back with a creased white shirt, an old green sweater, and a pair of jeans, all smelling strongly of mothballs. She had taken the clothes from Daniel’s chest of drawers, where they had been kept for many years. She threw the clothes at him and told him to put them on. Before leaving him to himself, she gave him a final glance. She didn’t ask him anything—she had promised her patron saint that she wouldn’t ask too many questions. All this time she had left her thick glasses dangling from her neck, but she still knew this man didn’t look much like Daniel. No matter. Not many people came back looking the same as when they left. She had heard enough stories to explain the differences and the changes—stories told by a succession of women ravaged by the effects of time and by the realization that they would never again see the missing faces they remembered so well. What was happening was a miracle, she believed, and it was hard to predict where it might lead. She was preparing to remove the big picture of the sain from the wall and stash it away in some corner of the house. Maybe she would put it in one of the dusty rooms on the upper floor. With his beautiful eyes and his white horse, Saint George could watch the specks of dust come in through the cracks in the windowpanes overlooking the street. He would regret ignoring her all those years and failing to recognize that, given the depths of her despair, it was time the Lord and His holy images listened to the bleating of His lost sheep.

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