By Gregor von Rezzori
A manhattan evaluation Books Original
Set simply after global struggle I, An Ermine in Czernopol facilities at the tragicomic destiny of Tildy, an erstwhile officer within the military of the now-defunct Austro-Hungarian Empire, decided to protect the advantage of his dishonest sister-in-law at any fee. Rezzori surrounds Tildy with a bunch of wonderful characters, attractive us in a kaleidoscopic event of a urban the place not anything is because it appears—a urban of discordant voices, of untamed ugliness and heartbreaking sadness, during which, in spite of the fact that, “laughter used to be all over, a part of the air we breathed, a crackling rigidity within the surroundings, continuously able to erupt in showers of sparks or discharge itself in thunderous peals.”
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Extra resources for An Ermine in Czernopol (New York Review Books Classics)
Daddy Frank, paterfamilias of Taliesin. He stirred the pot continually, interfering in our personal affairs, our amours and disputes and loyalties, even as he squelched our initiative and individualism as fiercely as he’d asserted his own when he was apprentice to Louis Sullivan a generation earlier. Truly, I don’t think I’ll ever forgive him for coming between me and Daisy Hartnett—or for the loan he inveigled from my father (and, of course, failed to repay). But I’m not complaining—that’s not the purpose of this exercise.
Fine. But don’t expect instruction from me. I am not a pedagogue, not by any means. ” The bell rang once more. —darted out from under the eaves and shot across the courtyard. Wrieto-San turned to go, but caught himself. He gave me another long look. ” In fact, I didn’t cook. Or I cooked in the way any bachelor in any society cooks: minimally. The boiled egg. Beefsteak flipped twice in the pan. Frankfurter on a bun. None of this mattered, however, because my kitchen apprenticeship would consist entirely in chopping cabbage, husking corn and peeling the potatoes the other apprentices had dug out of the manure-enriched earth.
The woman at the grocery gave me—gave us—the sort of look the farmwife had impressed on me earlier, the clamped lips and burning eyes, no hint of sympathy or even common humanity, as Wes called for catsup, coffee, tea, flour, sugar, massive sacks of dried beans and rice and all the other necessaries the farm and vegetable gardens at Taliesin were unable to provide. (This look, incidentally, was one I would become inured to in the coming months. It had something to do with my racial difference, of course, but it was leveled almost equally on Wes and Herbert Mohl and just about anyone else associated with Taliesin, and was chiefly due to Wrieto-San’s attitude toward paying on account and the reservoir of bad feeling in the immediate environs over his past flings and flirtations and what the deeply conservative local populace considered the immoral way in which he conducted himself.