Monday, April 9, 2012

Josep Pla, Cherries, and Sparrows

Cherry trees haven't set fruit yet--it's too early--but it's hard to resist posting a brief entry, premature though it may be, from Josep Pla's El quadern gris. It is dated 19 June 1918:

A delicious combination these June days: desserts based on cheese and cherries. The taste of cheese and that of cherries are, in my opinion, complementary on the palate. Too bad that the cheese in this country is so tasteless and mediocre. The best cherries aren't the first ones, the blanquelles, but the firm red ones with dense flesh that we call heart of dove or matapedra. The ones slightly pecked by the beak of a sparrow are especially delicious.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Story of No Return No. 2

Story of No Return No. 2
Mario Levrero

A dog, CampeĆ³n. I lived alone with him and at some point he started bothering me. I took him to the forest, left him tied up with a cord that he could break with a little perseverance, and went back home.

A couple of days later I had him scratching at the door; I let him in.

He became unbearable; I took him to a more distant forest and tied him to a tree with a stronger cord (I knew that the flaw was not in the cord but in the animal’s loyalty; perhaps I had the secret hope that this time he wouldn’t get loose and would die of hunger).

A few days later he came back.

I realized then that the dog would always come back; for fear of pangs of guilt, I didn’t dare kill him; and I thought that even if I managed to lose him, in a forest more distant still, I would live with the constant fear of his return; it would torment my nights and cloud my joys; his absence would tie me up more than his presence.

For barely a second, then, I hesitated before majesty of the dense forest—shadowy, imposing, unfamiliar—rising before my eyes; resolutely, I began going into it, and I went in deeper and deeper until, finally, I got lost.