Wednesday, January 29, 2020

the last book I ever read (Virginie Despentes's Vernon Subutex 1: A Novel, excerpt three)

from Vernon Subutex 1: A Novel by Virginie Despentes (translated by Frank Wynne):

Two girls in shorts and wedge heels, backpacks slung over their bellies, cross the Pla├ža de Sant Agusti, studying a map of the city. Their shoulders are tattooed, and they are speaking in a language so strange that the Hyena cannot help but wonder if they are making it up. A bearded man is pushing a meat cart. Tourists cycle past wearing brightly colored helmets. A group of homeless are sitting around a fountain. They are all about fifty and sporting Mohawks. Taxis honk at every intersection. Catalan flags blossom from every building with banners that read “We want a respectable neighborhood.” On a patch of sidewalk out of the way of pedestrians, a seagull is eviscerating a dead pigeon.

She arrived in Barcelona last night. On the television, there were news reports of a woman in her sixties throwing herself from the window of her apartment when bailiffs came to evict her.



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