Wednesday, August 22, 2018

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

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

He didn’t yet know that his savings from the hard work he had done over the past week had disappeared, or that the statue of the Virgin Mary had had its head smashed, or that the valuable plates and his most precious possessions had been taken. All that would become clear on the afternoon of the next day. For the moment he felt that everything he had been through had the effect of a powerful slap, maybe from a heavenly hand, to open his eyes to the error of his ways and to the abyss into which he was sliding.

He would make a fresh start for himself. He would hold out till his wounds healed completely and then go to the Sabunji hammam in Sheikh Omar. He would plant himself like a statue under the hot steam for three hours, then shave his head and face and buy smart new clothes and leave this damned Jewish ruin and rent a large, airy room in Faraj’s new lodgings, then think about renting a shop to buy, sell, and repair used things, because he was good at that. He would find a wife who would put up with him and restrict his drinking to one session a week. He would do all these things and keep doing them if he could sleep peacefully that night and if he could wake up alive and well in the morning.

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