Sunday, November 8, 2020

the last book I ever read (The Baron in the Trees by Italo Calvino, excerpt seven)

from The Baron in the Trees by Italo Calvino:

He stayed in bed and lost every attachment to life. Nothing of what he wanted to do had succeeded: no one talked anymore about the dukedom, his firstborn was still in the trees even now that he was a man, his half-brother had been murdered, his daughter was married and far away with people even more unpleasant that she was, I was still too much a boy to be close to him and his wife too brusque and authoritarian. He began to rave, to say that now the Jesuits had occupied his house and he couldn’t leave his room, and as full of bitterness and obsessions as he had always lived, he died.

Cosimo, too, followed the funeral procession, going from tree to tree, but he couldn’t enter the cemetery, because the cypresses were so thick with foliage that there was no way to climb in them. He was present at the burial but on the other side of the wall, and when we all threw a handful of dirt on the coffin he threw a branch with its leaves. I thought that all of us had always been as distant from my father as Cosimo in the trees.

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