Tuesday, May 10, 2022

the last book I ever read (Death and the Penguin (Melville International Crime) by Andrey Kurkov, excerpt nine)

from Death and the Penguin (Melville International Crime) by Andrey Kurkov (translated by George Bird):

As before, Nina kept Sonya amused during the day, sometimes at home, sometimes out and about, leaving Viktor on his own. But at night they were reunited, and knowing that neither love nor passion came into it, he still found arms and body anticipating that time with eagerness. Embracing, caressing Nina, making love, he became oblivious of himself. The warmth of her body seemed to be that very spring he so looked forward to. And then, in the small hours, with Nina asleep and breathing gently, he lay open-eyed, with the curiously comfortable sensation of leading an ordered, normal life–for which the essential requisites: wife, child, pet penguin, were present; and obviously artificial as this foursome was, Viktor shut his eyes to this fact for the sake of his feeling of comfort and a temporary illusion of happiness. But who could say? Maybe his happiness was not as illusory as the sober thoughts of morning suggested. But what, at night, were the thoughts of the morning? The very alternation of nocturnal happiness with morning common sense, and the constancy of it, seemed to prove that he was, at one and the same time, both happy and clear-thinking. So that all was well and life worth living.

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