Saturday, October 23, 2021


This novel was written now some time ago and remains unpublished: about a young American who goes from Dublin in the Spring of 1965 to the DDR, or as it was more commonly called: East Germany.  I have long thought of it as A Beginning of the Sixties of the last century...a premature understanding of "an American."  


from JUST LIKE THAT a novel as a beginning of the Sixties of the last century...

The I of the novel has spent much of the night [in the spring of 1965] next to the monument to the Battle of the Nations on the outskirts of Leipzig in what was then called  the German  Democratic Republic (DDR).

 Martin who has been with this "I" all day and now in the late night begins to speak:  

Don't sit there anymore.  The night is done with.  You are an American and you can't deny it. It is written on your face, in the book you carry next to your heart and how you would like to insert that book into your heart if you could.  That little greenish book, the colour of corpses in comic books which the frontier guards will look at and hand back to you as if you were diseased.  Did you feel that as you crossed our country on the way to Berlin?  Surely you did. You are so sensitive, if you say so, as you please.  I know that.  An American is a diseased scrap of humanity who does not what it is: just a creature who will die and before dying will grow old and not all the money, not all the wishes, not all the king's men will be able to step in and put a stop to the lines appearing at the corners of your eyes, at the corners of your mouth that has kissed my lips and which will spot the backs of your hands with those false stigmatas of saintliness: are they not saints for having endured this life--- but in your United States of American, from what I have read, the old are put to the field and turned into manure, the young have not the experience of being around their old people and the aged are left to rot.  But even to  think of death--- what a heresy--- how the stakes must be kept in readiness all across America because death is what denies the ever bigger future and the happiness always around the corner if you work very hard and have the boss's dick up your ass and you don't comment on how small his dick is.

Martin had walked a little way from the monument and I could see him pacing back and forth beyond the low hedge. I sat with the stone of the monument to my back, as I have said, the bullets stitching a death across my chest.  Was I not James Connolly tied to a chair because I was unable to stand to meet the English guns.

(the opening and the ending of this novel were published long ago in THE READING ROOM edited by Barbara Probst Solomon...

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